"Podesta: ‘Let Barack have his Blackberry.’"
In today’s Los Angeles Times, Obama transition co-chair John Podesta writes of his unique experience from being a keen eyewitness to Barack Obama’s decision-making over the past few months. “[Obama’s] politics are interactive, solutions-oriented and open to the citizens,” Podesta writes. He adds that Obama’s Blackberry enhances his decision-making by helping him reach outside his inner circle. “Let the man have his Blackberry,” Podesta told senior staffers. “An off-line Obama isn’t just bad for Barack. It’s bad for all of us.” He concludes:
Today, thousands of reporters, pundits and bloggers will produce instant analyses of the president’s swearing-in. By dawn Wednesday, there will be a comprehensive document in President Obama’s in-box summarizing the reaction, highlighting key opinion makers and linking to original sources across the Internet. Obama will surely flip through them.
But I know that he will have gotten his first feedback hours earlier, from a friend, far beyond the Beltway. On the Blackberry he’s keeping. And knowing that gives me hope.
Obama recently told CNN that it looks like he’ll be able to “hang onto” his Blackberry. “I’m still clinging to my BlackBerry,” he told CNBC. “They’re going to pry it out of my hands.” As Matt Yglesias argued recently, if the legal interpretation of the Presidential Records Act prohibits Obama from using a Blackberry, “then that means you need a new law.”