Thursday, January 8, 2009

Prying it out of his Hands: Obama Pressing to Keep His Beloved BlackBerry

Could Barack Obama be the first president to have a BlackBerry? As I've posted before, he is hooked on the machine and wants to keep it as a lifeline to the outside-the-Beltway world. The presidency can be a very insulating place and this president-elect is worried about that isolation. The NYT recently quoted President-elect Obama saying: “I’m still clinging to my BlackBerry....They’re going to pry it out of my hands.”

Mr. Obama will likely have a laptop at his disposal; however, a BlackBerry, because of it's small size and versatility, would mean more outside-the-protective-cocoon access for Obama and that is troubling to many. There are legal and protective concerns about the commander-in-chief being connected to the cyber-world. For example, how would the Presidential Records Act of 1978 or George W. Bush's Executive Order 13233 cover BlackBerry communications? Would Obama's web surfing trail be considered a presidential record?

We'll know who won the battle on January 20--especially if we get a glimpse of the little black machine hooked to the 44th president's belt. My guess is that Obama wins this battle--he's going to be the president after all...

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