Obama Cyber-Ironies: The YouTube President May Give Up Email

Yesterday, Barack Obama used YouTube to deliver the Democrats’ response to President Bush’s weekly radio address. Obama, who took full advantage of the power of the internet in his successful campaign, plans as President to transplant the weekly radio message onto YouTube.

Today comes the revelation in the NYT that Obama, who like many hard-charging professionals of a certain age is addicted to his BlackBerry, probably will have to give it up as President, because of security concerns and the strictures of the Presidential Records Act.

It’s even worse than that, however — by focusing on the BlackBerry, the Times actually buries the lead. It looks like Obama will have to give up email altogether:

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.

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.

Talk about a life-changing experience. Here’s the video:

He looks a bit stiff, especially at the beginning. The President’s weekly address to the nation is always a tightly scripted thing, and generally not terribly interesting. It will be more personal on streaming video, even though he’s reading off a teleprompter.