President-Elect Obama, You Need that BlackBerry

By  |  Tuesday, November 18, 2008 at 11:11 am

I just saw a piece by Jonathan Alter on Newsweek that responds to the talk surrounding Obama’s BlackBerry use: that it poses a security risk and he will be forced to surrender it upon inauguration. Alter argues that in order for Obama to be successful in the presidency, he will need to remain connected to the outside world — not just his cadre of advisers, officials and the like.

This is beneficial because sometimes Washington becomes an echo chamber of sorts. Sometimes, the people with the best view of things are outside the Beltway, and the president needs to hear these people. Wouldn’t succumbing to the Washington way of thought and blocking out the outside world come at an antithesis to what Obama’s preached his entire campaign?

Stephen Wildstrom at BusinessWeek has also opined in support of Obama keeping his gadget rights, adding that BlackBerry traffic is “encrypted to standards that meet Federal Information Procession Standards for sensitive but unclassified information.” He also says that the president-elect should already know how to handle classified and sensitive material, so he likely wouldn’t be thumb-tapping out senstive stuff on his BlackBerry anyway.

I see additional reasons why Mr. Obama should be able to keep his device. With the country moving into such an uncertain period, having some type of instantaneous communications with his staff and cabinet. Being able to make quicker decisions is something that I think would be very beneficial.

Yes, I can understand the security concerns. But come on, this is the 21st Century. A leader these days should be able to use the technologies around him if its going to make him (or her) a more effective leader.

What do you think?



5 Comments For This Post

  1. jasonhenle Says:

    Obama might get a MacBook in the Oval Office Mac the Oval Office

  2. Thom Says:

    Did you hear this week’s TWIT? There was a great discussion about all of this. Jason Calacanis was very vocal about how the President can be connected in a responsible way. It might be a necessary way also because of the ways that people get their news these days. His supporters are ALL connected.

  3. Sheryl Says:

    Wonder how President-elect Obama will deal with the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms from his CrackBerry addiction? Read a tongue-in-cheek fantasy letter to the President-elect on how to cope (from one addict to another) at

  4. Relyt Says:

    I think that the government is afraid of technology. Having a blackberry taken away from you is like not being able to communicate with people anymore.

  5. John Says:

    Obama MAY get a Macbook but wouldn’t that be the opposite of being a productive president? I mean, if the guy can only run those three applications that support the mac (two of those apps probably created by apple) then that can really limit his productivity huh?

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  1. Obama Fighting the Anti-BlackBerry Forces | Technologizer Says:

    […] I’ve argued previously here that I think Mr. Obama should keep his BlackBerry, and its worth repeating. Here’s hoping that our 44th president wins this battle… ShareThis |  Read […]