Blackberry Buddy


Some conservatives fear that Barack isn’t tough enough for the Commander in Chief part of the job.

Despite legal and security hurdles, president-elect Barack Obama says he has a plan to retain his beloved Blackberry once he moves into the White House next week.

I assume they’ve been ignoring his long battle to retain his personal, portable, internet device.

Interviewed by CNN Friday, Obama said the smartphone was among the tools that he would use to stay in touch with real Americans and avoid becoming trapped inside the presidential “bubble.”

This is one of the few things about Barack I find appealing – he’s not ready to give up fast food, cigarettes, or the little people.

“I think we’re going to be able to hang on to one of these. My working assumption, and this is not new, is that anything I write on an email could end up being on CNN,” he said.

“So I make sure to think before I press ‘send’,” he said of his Blackberry, which was an ever-present fixture on his belt or in his hand on the campaign trail.

George W. didn’t struggle with the bubble – there was no sign that he considered any of the trappings of power to be problematic.

Obama did not divulge just how he will overcome legal constraints, given the requirement of the post-Watergate Presidential Records Act of 1978 to keep a record of every White House communication.

Nor did he say how he would persuade his Secret Service protectors that the Blackberry does not pose a security risk, for instance if it is hacked over the air.

I feel quite confident that W. would have had a more successful presidency if I could have been his Blackberry Buddy. I would have convinced him to dump Rummy sooner, to stop profligate spending, and to do more than just send money to the Bajou. But, alas, I never got the chance.

But Obama, who succeeds the unpopular George W. Bush on Tuesday, said the phone was a valuable part of a wider strategy to escape the White House fishbowl.

Clinton couldn’t have been trusted with such a device because, with all the high school girls who would have been sending him topless photos of themselves, he wouldn’t have had time for anything else.

“I want to be able to have voices, other than the people who are immediately working for me, be able to reach out and send me a message about what’s happening in America.”

Jimmy Carter would have been too busy tracking elections in other countries.

“It’s just one tool among a number of tools that I’m trying to use, to break out of the bubble, to make sure that people can still reach me,” he said.

And Nixon would have been tracking the Watergate burglars on Google Maps.

“If I’m doing something stupid, somebody in Chicago can send me an email and say, ‘What are you doing?’

So, don’t be questioning Barack’s fortitude.

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