Obama's Exclusive E-Mail List

Who in Washington can e-mail the Commander-in-Chief?

You know you've made it on Capitol Hill when President Barack Obama lights up your Blackberry.

Only a privileged few members of Obama's cabinet know his direct e-mail address, the New York Times reported today.

Vice-President Joe Biden, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, and Press Secretary Robert Gibbs are part of Obama's tight circle of communication -- but Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said they had no access to Obama's personal email.

The President said yesterday at a black-tie dinner in the capitol that the list of people who know his e-mail is "very exclusive."

"Everyone look at the person sitting on your left. Now look at the person sitting on your right," Obama said.

"None of you have my email address."

Those who are part of Obama's e-mail chain of communication make up an elite class that in the past has been defined by invitations to White House sleepovers or weekend trips to Camp David.

"This is the 21st-century version of the same special access that certain people are always granted to the president," former Clinton adviser Joel P. Johnson told the Times.

Illinois treasurer Alexi Giannoulias said that his use of Obama's personal e-mail address will change now that his old friend is the new leader of the free world.

"He's no longer Barack," Giannoulias told the Times. "He's an institution."

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