An amusing story from the NYTimes...Apparently they haven't shut the doors yet...
WASHINGTON — Sorry, Mr. President. Please surrender your BlackBerry.
BLACKberry???? THAT'S JUST RACIST!!!!!!11!!
Those are seven words President-elect Barack Obama is dreading but expecting to hear, friends and advisers say, when he takes office in 65 days.
Peasants! He is THE ONE!!! He dreads nothing!!!
For years, like legions of other professionals, Mr. Obama has been all but addicted to his BlackBerry. The device has rarely been far from his side — on most days, it was fastened to his belt — to provide a singular conduit to the outside world as the bubble around him grew tighter and tighter throughout his campaign.
It must have annoyed his campaign gurus to no end...a source of info that wasn't filtered through them. Maybe it was one of his Ayers-educated friends who talked to him about the 57 states?
“How about that?” Mr. Obama replied to a friend’s congratulatory e-mail message on the night of his victory.
"There really are that many foolish people voting in this country. We didn't even need the votes we had ACORN stealing for us."
But before he arrives at the White House, he will probably be forced to sign off. In addition to concerns about e-mail security, he faces the Presidential Records Act, which puts his correspondence in the official record and ultimately up for public review, and the threat of subpoenas. A decision has not been made on whether he could become the first e-mailing president, but aides said that seemed doubtful.
Oh snap! Now we are going to have a newly recovering addict in the oval office...a guy just jonesin' for his daily fix of IM'ing on yahoo, or the BBF at The Hostages. And he'll have access to the nuclear codes. Just sayin', s'all.
For all the perquisites and power afforded the president, the chief executive of the United States is essentially deprived by law and by culture of some of the very tools that other chief executives depend on to survive and to thrive. Mr. Obama, however, seems intent on pulling the office at least partly into the 21st century on that score; aides said he hopes to have a laptop computer on his desk in the Oval Office, making him the first American president to do so.
And I'm sure that there are several laptop makers vying for the privilege of saying that it is their hardware which is preferred by the ONE.
Mr. Obama has not sent a farewell dispatch from the personal e-mail account he uses — he has not changed his address in years — but friends say the frequency of correspondence has diminished. In recent days, though, he has been seen typing his thoughts on transition matters and other items on his BlackBerry, bypassing, at least temporarily, the bureaucracy that is quickly encircling him.
"Now that we made him the President, he never writes, he never calls..." But at least he is typing his thoughts on it still. How wonderful for all involved!
A year ago, when many Democratic contributors and other observers were worried about his prospects against Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, they reached out to him directly. Mr. Obama had changed his cellphone number, so e-mail remained the most reliable way of communicating directly with him.
Thus demonstrating something that the rest of us on the web learned a long time ago. It pays to have the "public" email address, and the "private" email address.
“His BlackBerry was constantly crackling with e-mails,” said David Axelrod, the campaign’s chief strategist. “People were generous with their advice — much of it conflicting.”
"Crackling"? Now I just have a lowly Motorola, and IM/Text will only a few choice persons, but if my electronic communication device "Crackled", I would change the chime, or GET A NEW ONE. No wonder he and Michelle are always shouting at us. They have no nerves left after hearing the damn thing crackle all the time.
Mr. Obama is the second president to grapple with the idea of this self-imposed isolation. Three days before his first inauguration, George W. Bush sent a message to 42 friends and relatives that explained his predicament.
Maybe he can use the cleaning staff to smuggle messages back and forth between himself and Bombing Billy Ayers.
“Since I do not want my private conversations looked at by those out to embarrass, the only course of action is not to correspond in cyberspace,” Mr. Bush wrote from his old address, G94B@aol.com. “This saddens me. I have enjoyed conversing with each of you.”
Thus ruling out the Clinton Precedent of having people meet with accidents when they become inconvenient.
But in the interceding eight years, as BlackBerrys have become ubiquitous — and often less intrusive than a telephone, the volume of e-mail has multiplied and the role of technology has matured. Mr. Obama used e-mail to stay in constant touch with friends from the lonely confines of the road, often sending messages like “Sox!” when the Chicago White Sox won a game. He also relied on e-mail to keep abreast of the rapid whirl of events on a given campaign day.
But now that he has ascended to office, he can feel free to communicate through his mental telepathy, when he isn't using to root out those who resist his onerous brand of "Hope" and "Change".
Mr. Obama’s memorandums and briefing books were seldom printed out and delivered to his house or hotel room, aides said. They were simply sent to his BlackBerry for his review. If a document was too long, he would read and respond from his laptop computer, often putting his editing changes in red type.
In otherwords, he acted like a "newstyle" attorney. Less to shred, but God help you if you get hacked.
His messages to advisers and friends, they say, are generally crisp, properly spelled and free of symbols or emoticons. The time stamps provided a window into how much he was sleeping on a given night, with messages often being sent to staff members at 1 a.m. or as late as 3 a.m. if he was working on an important speech.
I tend to think that if he can email all the time without an emoticon, then he probably isn't a very complex person...not that I find that very surprising. The singular drawback of email is that there is no facial expression or body language to be read. That rules out humor, sarcasm, and irony, which any "executive" worth the title will have in their quiver of arrows.
He received a scaled-down list of news clippings, with his advisers wanting to keep him from reading blogs and news updates all day long, yet aides said he still seemed to hear about nearly everything in real time. A network of friends — some from college, others from Chicago and various chapters in his life — promised to keep him plugged in.
I understand. When I do not get to read my normal daily blogroll, I get a little testy myself.
Not having such a ready line to that network, staff members who spent countless hours with him say, is likely to be a challenge.
Kind of like a heroin addict needing a fix kind of challenge. Good luck to them.
“Given how important it is for him to get unfiltered information from as many sources as possible, I can imagine he will miss that freedom,” said Linda Douglass, a senior adviser who traveled with the campaign.
Again, I'm not surprised. I'm not so foolish as to believe that there is any source of information that doesn't come with a bias; I just want to be able to select the bias. He's losing that choice.
Mr. Obama has, for at least brief moments, been forced offline. As he sat down with a small circle of advisers to prepare for debates with Senator John McCain, one rule was quickly established: No BlackBerrys. Mr. Axelrod ordered everyone to put their devices in the center of a table during work sessions. Mr. Obama, who was known to sneak a peek at his, was no exception.
A big difference between a meeting and years.
In the closing stages of the campaign, as exhaustion set in and the workload increased, aides said Mr. Obama spent more time reading than responding to messages. As his team prepares a final judgment on whether he can keep using e-mail, perhaps even in a read-only fashion, several authorities in presidential communication said they believed it was highly unlikely that he would be able to do so.
Duh!!! His time is no longer his own.
Diana Owen, who leads the American Studies program at Georgetown University, said presidents were not advised to use e-mail because of security risks and fear that messages could be intercepted.
Besides, its always better to have his surrogates communicating with Hamas. That way he can continue to toss the bodies under the bus when convenient.
“They could come up with some bulletproof way of protecting his e-mail and digital correspondence, but anything can be hacked,” said Ms. Owen, who has studied how presidents communicate in the Internet era. “The nature of the president’s job is that others can use e-mail for him.”
And as long as someone else is talking to Hamas, it isn't his problem.
She added: “It’s a time burner. It might be easier for him to say, ‘I can’t be on e-mail.’ ”
Should Mr. Obama want to break ground and become the first president to fire off e-mail messages from the West Wing and wherever he travels, he could turn to Al Gore as a model. In the later years of his vice presidency, Democrats said, Mr. Gore used a government e-mail address and a campaign address in his race against Mr. Bush.
Yeah, copy from Algore...that's inspired!!!
The president, though, faces far greater public scrutiny. And even if he does not wear a BlackBerry on his belt or carry a cellphone in his pocket, he almost certainly will not lack from a variety of new communication.
Even better! Hook him on something new, so you can take that away from him, too in a few years. Cruel Bastages!
On Saturday, as Mr. Obama broadcast the weekly Democratic radio address, it came with a twist. For the first time, it was also videotaped and will be archived on YouTube.
Not exactly the Sermon on the Mount, but wow! They will get the word out.