THE BUBBLE

Obama and the Outside World

It's been President Obama's nemesis since the day he won — the dreaded presidential bubble that surrounds world leaders. Obama fought successfully to keep his Blackberry as part of an effort to maintain contact with the outside world and has made an effort to carry some vestiges of normal life to the White House. On Friday, Obama attended a Chicago Bulls game in casual dress and he and Michelle have escaped the White House chef on occasion to eat out at local restaurants. But the president's small forays into normal life are carefully supported by a staff of hundreds. For example, Obama reads 10 letters sent to the White House every day, a sampling carefully selected by staff from the 40,000 letters that arrive there daily.