September 8th, 2009
05:15 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama bemoans 'the bubble,' extols having a 'home office'


WASHINGTON (CNN) - Being one of the most powerful people in the world isn't always what it seems.

That's what President Obama told a Virginia high school student Tuesday who asked how Obama's life had changed since becoming the nation's chief executive.

"When you announce that you're running for president, a lot more people know you," the president said at a gathering with students before his nationally televised speech to the nation's schoolchildren, "Then, slowly, you get Secret Service. Then, when you win the nomination, you get more Secret Service. Then when you become president, everything just shuts down."

"I can't just do things normally like I used to do them," Obama said of the gilded cage he now lives in as president. "I'm inside what's called 'the bubble,'" Obama told the students, "I can't just do things on the spur of the moment and that's actually the toughest thing about being president because you want to just interact with people normally."

But living in the White House has its perks, Obama also told the students.

"I've got this really nice home office," he said, "called the Oval Office and it means that I don't have a commute."

Because of his 'home office,' Obama told the students, he actually has more time with his family than before moving to the White House.

"I'm spending a lot more time with my kids now, and my wife now and having dinner with them every night. That's a lot better now than it was before when I was traveling a lot and commuting back and forth between D.C. and Chicago."

Obama also told the students that he enjoys the added responsibility of being president.


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. Jeff

    Obama is way smarter than most people I know. But I would like him a whole lot more if he were socially conservative, like nearly every president we had the first 150 – 200 years.

    September 8, 2009 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  2. Danny in Chicago

    Reading these comments is very interesting. The positive comments are heart felt, full of compassion and hope – you can tell that they are inspired, which is wonderful to see. While the negative comments are shallow, low blows, racist, and have no strong standing for a real debate – just plain jealousy.

    The country may be partially divided (and I say partially, because I think some people forget that the election was not very close by modern standards), but it is very clear that the real power of the people is coming from INSPIRATION. Just like it always has when our country really makes its mark.

    Can you think of ONE TIME when our country did something for the history books when negativity prevailed? I think not – you hateful people might want to rethink your perspectives because you are going to be very regretful when this page in our history is all said and done.

    THERE IS STILL TIME TO BELIEVE!

    September 8, 2009 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  3. bj,texas

    This is the bigest loser since Jimmy Carter. Only reason he won is because ACORN cheated and all the black people voted color instead of brains. It'll be a different story in '12. Oblunder has screwed up our country in 8 months worse than Carter did in four years.

    September 8, 2009 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  4. Joe M

    When is he going to come off VACATION and start working...He has been on vacation since 20 January...

    September 8, 2009 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  5. Fan of Common Sense

    He certainly doesn't seem to mind the part about being on TV alot, now does he? 🙂

    September 8, 2009 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  6. center left

    The Republicans acted like "chick little, the sky is falling" over a speech to kids and CNN suck it up. What a joke!

    September 8, 2009 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  7. tonyt

    hOW dUMB wAS tHIS.

    THE GOP THE PARTY OF FEAR. That's all they know!

    Jim Greer also accused President Obama of "using our children as tools to spread liberal propaganda."

    The state party chair issued the statement in response to a White House announcement that Obama would appear in a nationally broadcast address to primary school students around the country. The White House has said the president would be urging students to “(take) responsibility for their success in school.”

    "As the father of four children, I am absolutely appalled that taxpayer dollars are being used to spread President Obama's socialist ideology," Greer said.

    September 8, 2009 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  8. True

    He's still got all of his radical czars he can pal around with. So he won't be lonesome.

    September 8, 2009 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  9. tonyt

    "The Republican Party, no friend of sane americans,"

    FEAR That's All They Know!

    September 8, 2009 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  10. New Yorker

    Not being able to do things spur of the moment? Like ramming Socialism down our throats before his starry-eyed followers wake up and realize what's going on? Oh yeah, those followers do know what's going on – freebies for them.

    September 8, 2009 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  11. david

    Geez, give the man sometime to prove himself before all the accolades and insults. It's way too premature to say he's bad or he's the GREATEST president. Get real people. Don't let your emotion get in the way of your reasoning.

    September 8, 2009 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  12. tonyt

    If President Obama said some of the dumb comments Palin have made, He would of been laugh out of politics a long time ago!

    It's amazing how some GOPs and conservatives would still consider to vote for her.

    September 8, 2009 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  13. joyce

    Watching Republicans present their argumentation on TV do tire me. As for me, they gradually present themselves the image of anemic bystanders.

    All of a sudden they have these great ideas of how to make this country (1) a better place for us to live in and (2) a great country in the world. They have had decades to put those ideas in reality, but history tells us of their failure. There have been no effort to get the poor some health insurance, no idea that torture is unethical, no warning that a bad economy will affect jobs in the long run. Today's mess we are in may very well be the result of their anemic behavior and attitude in those decades.

    I do am glad that there is a president who dares to talk to children. He does not have this guilt that prevents him from looking in their innocent eyes telling them to study hard; he wants to prevent them from becoming anemic to the needs of people in this country and the world.

    September 8, 2009 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
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