"Thank you, Mr. President," the man began. "I don't have a job, but that's because I've been lucky enough to live in Silicon Valley for a while and work for a small startup down the street here, that did quite well. So, I'm unemployed by choice. My question is: Would you please raise my taxes?"
The audience erupted in surprised laughter.
The man -- later identified as Edwards -- continued by offering a short list of the items that taxes fund, many of which have been central to economic development in the country: "I would like very much to have the country to continue to invest in things like Pell grants and infrastructure and job training programs that made it possible for me to get to where I am."
Following Edwards' appeal, the pair engaged in a playful back-and-forth:
Obama, smiling, asked Edwards: "What was the startup, by the way. You want to give me a little hint?"
"It's a search engine." Edwards replied.
"Worked out pretty well, huh?," Obama smiled.
It isn't clear if Obama knew the identity of his anonymous supporter. About an hour after the event, Talking Points Memo reported, White House reporters identified the under-taxed gentleman as Edwards, Google's (GOOG) first director of consumer marketing and brand management. His memoir I'm Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59, was released earlier this year.