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Obama Will Pitch $447 Billion Jobs Package at LinkedIn Forum

Sept. 26 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama holds a town-hall meeting today at the headquarters of LinkedIn Corp., the social and business networking website in Mountain View, California, to press Congress to adopt his $447 billion jobs plan.

“When the opportunity to work with LinkedIn came up, it was a no-brainer,” said Macon Phillips, director of digital strategy at the White House. “There’s no better way to connect -- not just with people in California, but across the country.” The White House asked the company to host the event, Phillips said in a telephone briefing Sept. 23.

Obama is on a three-day western swing to Washington, California and Colorado to raise money for his re-election campaign and promote his package of infrastructure spending, payroll tax cuts and other steps to boost the economy and reduce the 9.1 percent unemployment rate.

LinkedIn has more than 120 million members worldwide, including job applicants, employed professionals and recruiters. The company is growing “faster than two members per second,” chief executive Jeff Weiner said in the same briefing.

Under the format that will be streamed live on White House and LinkedIn websites, Weiner will ask Obama questions submitted from a live audience and collected online. The forum begins at 11 a.m. in San Jose (2 p.m. in Washington).

“LinkedIn, broadly speaking, connects talent with opportunity on a massive scale,” Weiner said.

The event reflects a continuing effort by the White House to use new-media technology to get its message to millions of voters, Phillips said. It follows previous Obama town-hall-style formats with Twitter Inc., Facebook Inc. and Google Inc.’s YouTube.

According to Phillips, the White House has been using LinkedIn “for quite some time” to solicit feedback for the president’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, the 23-member advisory panel led by Jeffrey Immelt, chief executive of General Electric Co.

To contact the reporters on this story: Roger Runningen in San Jose, California, at rrunningen@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at msilva34@bloomberg.net.

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