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Struggling to come out of bubble, says Obama

world Updated: Mar 23, 2009 11:01 IST
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Being the President of the United States for a little over 60 days, Barack Obama on Monday said that he is struggling to break the White House bubble and find ways and means to get himself connected with the outside world so that he is aware of the ground realities.

"The bubble that the White House represents is tough. And one of the things that I am constantly struggling with is how to break out of it," Obama told the CBS news in an interview telecast on Monday.

Obama, who resisted the secret service efforts to deprive him of a black berry, told the CBS news that he follows the practice of reading 10 letters selected from the 40,000 that he receives every day. This is "just to hear from voices outside of my staff," he said. Obama was able to get hold of a blackberry, but with limited access.

"The inability to just go and, you know, sit at a corner coffee shop and have a chat with people or just listen to what folks are saying at the next table, that I think is something that as president you've got to constantly fight against," Obama said.

Interviewing President Obama, Steve Kroft reminded him that Harry Truman called the White House "The Great White Jail." Bill Clinton had said he couldn't make up his mind whether it was the finest public housing in America or the jewel of the prison system, Kroft said.