Steve Jobs pitches spaceship campus (video)

An artist rendering of the circular building Apple would like to build on its new campus in Cupertino, Calif.
Screenshot by Steven Musil/CNET

If you've ever seen Steve Jobs wow the faithful at an Apple gathering, you'll get a kick out of watching Apple's CEO dazzle the members of Cupertino's City Council during a presentation to the local pols on Tuesday evening.

Jobs dropped by to explain Apple's plans to construct a new headquarters building on land that it bought from Hewlett-Packard. He said that Apple has outgrown its current campus and now has to rent nearby buildings to house more than 9,000 employees.

"Apple is growing like a weed," Jobs said. "It's clear we need to build a new campus."

Picking up a clicker, Jobs then breezed through a brief slide presentation as he explained the details of the proposed Apple campus, which he likened to "a spaceship."

The crowd also got a bonus in the form of a glimpse at Jobs' negotiation skills. When councilwoman Kris Wang asked how city residents would benefit from the building of a new Apple campus, Jobs brought out the velvet hammer.

"Well, as you know, we're the largest taxpayer in Cupertino so we'd like to continue to stay here and pay taxes. That's number one....because if we can't, then we have to go somewhere like Mountain View and we take our current people with us. we give up and over years and sell the land here and the largest tax base would go away and that wouldn't be good for Cupertino and it wouldn't be good for us either."

He didn't need to overdo it. The message got through. Check out the video for yourselves.

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    Charles Cooper is an executive editor at CNET News. He has covered technology and business for more than 25 years, working at, the Associated Press, Computer & Software News, Computer Shopper, PC Week, and ZDNet. E-mail Charlie.