Will Obama have a computer on his desk in the Oval Office? Slate's Explainer tackles this critical question and reveals along the way that it almost doesn't matter, because the White House internet sucks hard.
Judging by history—and the photo above, taken yesterday in the Oval Office by White House photographer Pete Souza—probably not. Neither Clinton nor Bush had a dedicated computer in the office, but Bush, for instance, would pop outside to use one of the battalion of staffers' computers whenever he wanted to check sports scores or news reports.
Obama could bring in a laptop, as Bill Clinton did on occasion. But he'd have to plug directly into the office's internet connection. Astonishingly, there's no Wi-Fi in the White House. (Well, not that surprisingly, because of security reasons, but we all take Wi-Fi for granted.) But even then, the internet sucks: Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Twitter and commenting on blogs are all blocked—ironic, given that the Obama campaign leveraged the crap out of three of those to get into the White House.
Even the iTunes Store is blocked, which brings us to Explainer's most charming anecdote. Two people did have access to iTunes: Bush's director of internet communications to upload speeches, and his personal aide, so he could put songs on Bush's iPod for him. Awwww. [Slate]