Barack Obama may love to schmooze with his many admirers, but he really, really hates when they take selfies with him.
The former president
delivered opening remarks Tuesday at the Obama Foundation Summit, a gathering of civic leaders in Chicago. During his speech, he instated a rule for summit attendees: No selfies.
It may seem trivial, but it’s not,” Obama said. “I say this because... one of the weird things about becoming president is I found that people were no longer looking me in the eye and shaking my hand.”
Obama’s selfies are often with the likes of royals and celebrities. But still, we can’t blame the guy for craving some actual facetime.
A woman takes a selfie with Obama and Prince Harry at the 2017 Invictus Games. Former Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama pose for a selfie with Phil Mickelson of the U.S. Team during the 2017 Presidents Cup. Boston Red Sox player David Ortiz poses with Obama at the White House in 2014.
Obama told an interviewer he felt “captive to selfies,” as fans who saw him out and about after his presidency would approach him for one “every two steps.”
But the former president isn’t totally against them: He’s notably acquiesced to selfies
with Red Sox player David Ortiz and a pair of young brothers in the White House. He once even appeared to participate in arranging the camera for a selfie with the British and Danish prime ministers.
Still, we’d opt for a face-to-face chat with him any day.