G94B@aol.com … is not where you can reach him anymore.

WASHINGTON, March 16 — At 10:26 p.m. on Jan. 17, less than three days before he was sworn in as president, George W. Bush sent a group e-mail message to 42 “dear friends” and family members, telling them his new job would preclude continuing to correspond in cyberspace.

“My lawyers tell me that all correspondence by e-mail is subject to open record requests,” Mr. Bush wrote to the group, which included top aides and business people. “Since I do not want my private conversations looked at by those out to embarrass, the only course of action is not to correspond in cyberspace. This saddens me. I have enjoyed conversing with each of you.”

Until that moment, when Mr. Bush wrote that “sadly I sign off,” he kept in contact with these people through often daily e-mail messages, which he would usually dash off early in the morning before embarking on the campaign trail. (The missives were generally to the point ? a sentence or so. Mr. Bush preferred all lower-case letters and little punctuation except dashes between thoughts, and would usually sign off, simply, “gwb.”)

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