Obama’s BlackBerry may have to be surgically removed

After US president-elect Barack Obama won the election, officials told him he would have to give up his beloved BlackBerry, which he kept close on the campaign trail.

But Obama is aiming to keep the device, telling journalist Barbara Walters in an interview he is trying to “break through the isolation and the bubble that exists around the president”.

The President’s email is subject to public records laws, and it may be a security risk for him to carry a mobile phone. But giving the device up “is a problem”, Obama says.

“I’m negotiating to figure out how can I get information from outside of the 10 or 12 people who surround my office in the White House,” he says.

“Because one of the worst things I think that could happen to a president is losing touch with what people are going through day-to-day.”

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