SEO.com caught up with Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, backstage before he was scheduled to meet with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg Friday morning.
The senator offered some insight into the social-networking mogul’s psyche.
“He’s very shy,” Hatch said. “But when he starts talking about the Internet and social networking he comes alive.”
The stage was set for an intimate conversation between Zuckerberg and Hatch as crowds trickled into the Marriott Center at Brigham Young University.
Hatch said he befriended Zuckerberg in his role as a member of the Senatorial High Tech Task Force.
“He’s probably the No. 1 attraction in the whole high tech world,” Hatch said.
Zuckerberg’s speech in Utah is a rare public appearance for the Internet entrepreneur.
“He’s never done it before,” Hatch told SEO.com. “I think he’s been in some big meetings, but he has never done anything like this.”
Hatch will soon face a tough re-election fight. The conservative said he has not sought a political endorsement from Zuckerberg.
“He’s a friend,” Hatch said. “That’s good enough for me.”
When asked if Zuckerberg is a Republican: “Probably not,” Hatch replied.
According to the senator, Zuckerberg traveled to Utah with a staff of roughly 10 people, three of which are BYU graduates.
“He’s very well aware of where to get top-notch people,” Hatch said.
When asked if Facebook may open an office in Utah, Hatch said “I haven’t hit on that real hard yet.”
Hundreds of questions were submitted to Zuckerberg via Facebook.
“We asked the kids to send in questions,” Hatch said.
View our full recap of the event: Zuckerberg, conservative senator: an unlikely duo