It turns out that George H. W. Bush once considered Steve Jobs for a Presidential appointment to the President’s Export Council. The council is meant to be an advisory board for International trade for the U.S. Since Steve Jobs was considered, The FBI did a background check on him, and it came to a 191 page document. The document was released today after a request under the Freedom of Information Act, by an open government site, MuckRock. Some aspects of the file have been redacted, and there are some bland ortions, but some potential nuggets could be discovered.
You can read it yourself here, and find out the view on Steve Jobs in 1991 from the FBI and Jobs’ acquaintances. There is a big focus on his honesty, and his ability to, “twist the truth and distort reality in order to achieve his goals”. It’s a great way to see how Jobs was viewed in 1991 as a potential Presidential appointment. Many of the aspects we know from Isaacson’s biography, including his taking of LSD, and his relationship with his estranged daughter Lisa. FBI agents took over a month to actually connect with Jobs as he kept them waiting for only a one hour interview. The questions included whether he ever had any thoughts of overthrowing the government, shared Communist beliefs, and other similar questions, so we can see why he wasn’t in a rush.
The report was conducted in 1991 when Jobs had been gone from Apple for six years, and was in the process of building up NeXT. It’s especially interesting that he was considered for a Presidential appointment relating to international trade, when currently Apple is facing a number of questions relating to their international production process. Just imagine how different everything potentially would be in terms of technology, and US manufacturing if Jobs was offered, and took the position.