As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Free The Blackberry

John Podesta argues for liberation.

I've been working with Barack Obama since before the election, and I know that without his virtual connection to old friends and trusted confidants beyond the bubble that seals off every president from the people who elected him, he'd be like a caged lion padding restlessly around the West Wing, wondering what's happening on the other side of the iron bars that surround the People's House.

An off-line Obama isn't just bad for Barack. It's bad for all of us.

The president's ability to reach outside his inner circle gives him access to fresh ideas and constructive critics; it underscores the difference between political "victories" and actual solutions; and it brings the American people into a battle we can only win by working together.

The reason Obama will probably lose Blackberry privileges is the 1978 Presidential Reocrds Act, which was signed into law 24 years before the invention of the Blackberry. But surely there's a compromise here that can be reached through Congress that will enable Obama to get unfiltered information from friends and opinion makers. The laws need to keep pace with modern life, and we should want to welcome our President into it.

UPDATE: WIN! Obama will keep his Blackberry. But the legislation angle ought to be addressed.

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