Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Our first BlackBerry president

He's quit smoking, but can he quit texting?
Barack Obama wants his BlackBerry back - or at least some good way to communicate better with people outside the immediate circle of the president-elect. . . .
How is the president-elect getting along without that BlackBerry which the Secret Service wasn't happy about the boss carrying?
"This is a problem,'' Obama says in the interview airing Wednesday night, according to excerpts released by ABC. "You know, one of the things that I'm going to have to work through is how to break through the isolation and the bubble that exists around the president. And I'm in the process of negotiating with the Secret Service, with lawyers, with White House staff and....''
Does that mean he'll get his Berry back?
"Well, I'm, I'm negotiating to figure out how can I get information from outside of the ten or 12 people who surround my office in the White House,'' Obama said. "Because, one of the worst things I think that could happen to a president is losing touch with what people are going through day to day.''
With its mobile Web connection, the "Crackberry" -- that's how supposedly addictive the devices are -- has become ubiquitous among Washington operatives in the past few years. (Apple's pricier iPhone is not quite so popular.) Attend any event in Washington and you'll see people scrolling their e-mail or surfing the Web throughout the event. And if, perchance, the event occurs in the bowels of a hotel where there's no signal, then as soon they emerge from the event, the first thing they must do is check the device to make sure they haven't missed anything.

Because a Blackberry or cellphone signal could be tracked or intercepted, the Secret Service can't allow the Commander in Chief to carry one, and so add this to the sacrifices the office requires.

(Cross-posted at AmSpecBlog.)


  1. How else can he keep in touch with Bill Ayers?

  2. I have to admit some sympathy to his concerns about being isolated. While I'm pretty sure a blackberry isn't the answer, unless he's checking here and Ace and the other cool blogs, too many presidents and their staffs have apparently turned stupid once they entered that bubble.