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Bill Gates: I wish Obama had more power

The Microsoft chairman bemoans the fact that there isn't enough power in the U.S. presidency and wishes it were a little more "like the U.K."

When you have power, you can do things.
Politico Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

One of the many lovely things about engineers is that they like to get things done.

Bill Gates is an excellent example. You might not always like how he gets things done -- or even what gets done -- but done it gets.

The lack of ability to get things done is one of the Microsoft chairman's greatest frustrations.

He expressed this quite eloquently yesterday when being interviewed at Politico's "Playbook Cocktails" event.

Indeed, as the Daily Caller reports, he said he sympathized with President Obama for having to work with some of the halfwits in Congress.

Well, he didn't quite put it like that.

Refusing to answer who was his favorite president, Gates did venture: "You don't run a business like this."

He also added that he wishes that President Obama had, well, the kind of power Gates had at Microsoft.

He said: "Right now it feels like I wish there was slightly more power in the presidency to avoid some of these deadlocks. So I think what he (Obama) wants to do and what he's actually able to do, the gap is so big there that it's hard to know in some ways."

Perhaps surprising was a comparison he made with another country where, Gates believes, the government has more power.

He said: "Some days I wish we had a system like the U.K. where, you know, the party in power could do a lot and you know, you'd see how it went and then fine you could un-elect them."

Some might imagine that this was always how democracy was supposed to work.

There might be more than a little debate, however, about how successive British governments have used their power over the years.