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Clinton's gift to Internet age: only 2 e-mails

Clinton sent an e-mail to astronaut John Glenn while he was aboard the space shuttle.
Clinton sent an e-mail to astronaut John Glenn, who was aboard the space shuttle at the time.

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Clinton Presidential Foundation
Bill Clinton
John Glenn

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (Reuters) -- The archives of the Bill Clinton presidential library will contain 39,999,998 e-mails by the former president's staff and two by the man himself.

"The only two he sent," Skip Rutherford, president of the Clinton Presidential Foundation, which is raising money for the library, said on Monday.

One of them may not actually qualify for electronic communication because it was a test to see if the commander in chief knew how to push the button on an e-mail.

Former Ohio Sen. John Glenn has the distinction of being the first American to orbit the Earth and the only person to receive an e-mail written by Clinton when he was in office.

The e-mail was sent with the help of Clinton staffers to the space shuttle while it was in orbit and Glenn was a part of the crew. It praised Glenn for his return to space after almost 40 years.

Rutherford said Clinton, who relished the chance to speak to voters, did not make time to send e-mails, even though Internet usage exploded during his presidency.

"He's not a techno-klutz. I don't think President [George W.] Bush sends e-mails, either," Rutherford said of Clinton.

"Most of the decisions in the Oval Office are made through decision memos," Rutherford said.

The 40 million e-mails of the Clinton administration are almost exclusively comprised of memos, notes and correspondence among his aides and cabinet members

Then as now, Rutherford added, Clinton was more apt to write personal notes or telephone than communicate through e-mail.

Copyright 2004 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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