Former President Barack Obama has revealed what he doesn’t miss about the presidency: the isolation.
“You know the hardest thing about being the president of the United States, it is unique in its isolation,” Obama told former White House chef Sam Kass during an interview in Milan, northern Italy.
“The burdens of leadership are true in any country, but in part because of the security apparatus around a U.S. president, you live in what’s called ‘the bubble,’” Obama continued. “It is a very nice prison. So you don’t have the freedom of movement to be able to just take a walk, or to sit at a cafe, because there’s always this security concern around you. I don’t miss that.”
Obama spoke with Kass after giving the keynote speech at The Global Food Innovation Summit on Tuesday.
The former president said he can walk anywhere now ― as long as he’s willing to take a selfie “every two steps.”
“Now I’m only captive to selfies, which is almost as bad,” Obama joked.
His keynote address focused on food waste and climate change, and included a defense of the Paris Agreement. President Donald Trump and his aides are considering whether to withdraw from the agreement; another meeting on the issue was postponed Tuesday.
Obama also addressed the tension many people feel when it comes to politics.
“People have a tendency to blame politicians when things don’t work, but as I always tell people, you get the politicians you deserve,” he said. “And if you don’t vote and you don’t pay attention, you’ll get policies that don’t reflect your interest.”