September 8th, 2009
05:15 PM ET
11 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. Bluebonnet

    Ah, yeah, but he sure gave all that up just for his "new ride" (as he called Air Force One when he was first elected). He makes up for spontaneity with all his jaunts around the country spending our money!

    September 8, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  2. akm, CA

    Nice Mr. President.
    Good to have someone from outside, from the people!

    September 8, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  3. Chelsea

    Obama may become one of the greatest Presidents in American history. Why are the Republicans kidding themselves? Can't they see Obama as a God-given President? Are they just pretending? Why scare your kids away from him? Some people are just sick. They may be the descendants of those who saw Jesus a socialist.

    September 8, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Obama also told the students that he enjoys the added responsibility of being president.
    --------------------------------
    Good gravy!! It must be true what his wife Michelle says about this man thriving under pressure. While others would've buckled under the over-flowing plate he was served January 20th, this man has risen to the challenge like no other man -Black or White- I can think of. And to actually maintain his optimistic disposition in the face of all the lies, and total lack of support, is just mind-blowing to me.

    This job just does'nt pay enough for me, personally, to deal with all the crap. Thank God for our President! May the Almighty always protect him and his family.

    September 8, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  5. Moderate Democrat

    This is the best president since Lincoln. And that drives the republicans crazy.

    Loving it!

    September 8, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  6. Jimmy the Greek

    "I can't just do things normally like I used to do them," Obama said ...

    You mean like stopping by William Ayers house for a coffee... or attend black-racist Rev Wright's church??

    Awww poor baby.

    September 8, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  7. Observant

    I am glad to hear that President Obama enjoys the addd responsibility of being President. Now, if he would just keep his campaign promises and work toward producing jobs, I will be happy.

    September 8, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  8. Lisa P

    Barack just makes me smile. He's so real 🙂

    September 8, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  9. Ted

    It may be more fun running for the job as president than doing it. Power ain't everything and life is short.

    Happy to be a nobody

    September 8, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  10. bozo the obama

    Fidel and Hugo have no problem...go cry to george Soros, he put you in office.

    September 8, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  11. Latisha

    We are truly blessed to have such a Great Man watching over us.

    He is truly one of the greatest leaders the world has ever known.

    To you racist people who are against Obama, I can only pity you.

    Still, all you racist who hate him, know this – Obama loves you more than you'll ever know, even if you do hate him. And everyday Obama is working hard to make sure that your dreams are realized.

    September 8, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  12. Joe Terrogano

    President Obama will be in office at least 3 more years. So all of you sour grapes out there suck it up. It is too bad if you don't like him for whatever reason, but he is THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES!!

    September 8, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  13. T'SAH from Virginia

    President Obama's answers are BELIEVABLE which is why many get HOPE and INSPIRATION from him when he speaks!!!

    Tears flowed when I witnessed the kids – all colors – at the end of President Obama's school speech – they were INSPIRED!!!

    September 8, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  14. mjm

    The toughest thing about being president is...not being able to do things on the spur of the moment?

    Are you kidding me?

    I realize this is the first real job he's ever had but, how 'bout if you focus on being the president.

    September 8, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  15. Lesley L.

    Sounds like he needs to make plans to run out to that great burger joint sometime soon!!!

    September 8, 2009 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  16. jp,michigan

    Once becoming President, Obama can finally act like the politician he really is. Say one thing on the campaign trail and say another and do the opposite once in the Oval office.

    September 8, 2009 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  17. A Proud Citizen Of America THIS TIME!

    My daughter and I both came away motivated and inspired to begin anew and start a new school year after hearing President Obama's Address to our children! We have saved it to watch when times are at their toughest and brightest throughout this school year as she enters as a student to a new school. Thank you once again President Obama... from all of us.

    September 8, 2009 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  18. sheku

    Whats wrong with given an ispiration speech to kids?

    September 8, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  19. Dimitry Kudlay

    Obama is so easy to love, which is not hard when the man speaks things in intelligent language that is easy to understand. Instead of handi-caped speak that's impossible to understand, like Bush, Palin, or pretty much most of the crazy crazy people we have in our dear legislative branch. P.S. Can't we the people be the legislative branch? I mean seriously, having congress is like sewing your own cloth from lamb skin, stupid and inefficient.

    September 8, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  20. ComradeObummer

    OBUMMER,
    What don't you reign in this huge deficit you and your socialist democratic pals are running up?

    How are you going to pay for all of this?

    You couldn't successfully manage a JAMBA JUICE store.

    September 8, 2009 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  21. Justin -NC

    Patience is a virtue. This recession was a long time coming so we'll have to wait for the recovery. What's most comforting is knowing we have a man who isn't filthy rich or from wealth looking after the middle class, the poor, in addition to giving the rich their incentives. He's got everyone's back and I trust his judgment no matter what may come. I can't say the same thing if I woke up to the nightmare of President McCain and Vice President Palin. McCain/Palin is truly a nightmare on main street.

    September 8, 2009 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  22. Robert

    Obama is a bubble headed beach blond

    September 8, 2009 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  23. Lucy, Texas

    Sounds like Obama really listened to the kids questions and truthfully answered their question with candor. Guess none of the children turned into raving socialists from Obama's contact.

    Maybe the Republicans have been watching too much science fiction....or maybe they are having hallucinations from handling all that money the drug, health, and insurance corporations have been funneling into them (....90 % of all money has cocaine on it).

    September 8, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  24. Fed Up

    He ran for the office. He was anointed as the great saviour by the media, and he accepted that position with great enthusiasm. He got what he asked for. No sympathy from this side.

    September 8, 2009 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  25. Cynthia - Arkansas

    I couldn't be more proud of OUR President. He is genuine, funny and inspiring. Thank God for him and his beautiful family. I sleep better at night knowing he is watching out for my best interest.

    I truly feel sorry for the Republicans and all their wingnuts. It must really be sad to be so full of hate for someone who wishes you nothing but good. It make me want to cry at the way he has been treated. Lie after lie, but he keeps on smiling. He is a much bigger person than I could ever hope to be. I'm afraid I would be calling out these liars for who they are.

    September 8, 2009 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
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