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Barack's BlackBerry: Photo gallery of the texter in chief's smartphone

January 23, 2009 |  7:45 am

Barack Obama on his BlackBerry

President Obama has become the nation's thumb-typer-in-chief. He reached a deal with his security advisors Thursday that will let him keep his BlackBerry, albeit a version equipped with heavy encryption designed to keep bad guys from intercepting his messages and tracking his location. Though security concerns remain, the nation's 44th president can try to keep it real by using his smartphone to e-mail with people outside the Beltway.

Previous presidents have shied away from electronic communication, worried that it would leave a permanent record of their correspondence. White House aides say they assume his e-mail will eventually become public. But Obama thought it worth the fight. He's obsessed with the device, saying, "I'm still clinging to my BlackBerry. They're going to pry it out of my hands."

How attached is he? Here's a photo gallery of Obama with his BlackBerry -- on the golf links, in transit, leaving the gym. He even tests the device's ability to bounce back from a tumble onto concrete.

-- Chris Gaither and Jerome Adamstein

Photo: Barack Obama thumb-types on his BlackBerry on his campaign plane in July. Credit: Charles Ommanney / Getty Images