President Barack Obama is a true man of the people!
The POTUS stepped out of the White House bubble this week and took an impromptu stroll through Washington, D.C. “The President was heading over to the nearby Department of the Interior and decided to break with tradition and take a Springtime walk,” according to the White House blog. “On the way, he got a chance to meet with all sorts of folks, who weren’t expecting to meet the President of the United States of America.”
A young girl hands the President a US flag during his walk to DOI yesterday; he later gave the girl a WH souvenir pic.twitter.com/3cnOHydtbc
— petesouza (@petesouza) May 22, 2014
MUST READ: Malia Obama Is Stepping Behind The Wheel & The FLOTUS Says ‘Look Out!’ “It’s good to be out,” he said on his stroll. “The bear is loose.” “You gotta catch folks by surprise. Can’t be regular. Can’t be routine,” he added. The Commander In Chief chatted with about two dozen people during the walk, including local business owners, locals and a handful of tourists. “Are you real?” one woman asked as she shook his hand. “Yes I am. I’m not wax,” Obama replied.
Tourists on the Ellipse in DC did a double-take as the President & John Podesta walked to the D of Interior yesterday pic.twitter.com/CoFZzMQBnX
— petesouza (@petesouza) May 22, 2014
According to the Washington Post, the move was not a walk through the park for the Secret Service. But, spokesman Ed Donovan said the risks of a disruption were lower since it was unscheduled. “Any time the president leaves the White House complex there are risks involved,” he said. “Off the record movements can be used to our advantage since there is an element of surprise. If something a protected [person] does is not on the schedule then presumably someone wishing to disrupt an event or do them harm is unaware of it as well.”
The White House shared footage of the once-in-a-lifetime moment in a YouTube video, titled “The President Takes a Surprise Walk.” Check it out below.
Check Out This Gallery
The Stars Align & Reveal What They Love About President Obama
1. Debra Lee
"My favorite thing about the President is his commitment to people and the world [and] his ability to listen; the fact that he's smart and he has smart people around him; the way he empathizes with people. The way he handled the Newtown situation was just really incredible, and he's done that with all the issues that have come along during his first term. I'm looking forward to him being more comfortable going around and knowing the politics and accomplishing a lot more."
2. Tatyana Ali
"He smells good." [laughs] "The thing that I love about him, is his humility. He's really a humble man and he's a servant and that's not hype. He's here to be of service and I love that from a leader."
3. Ben Jealous-NAACP President
"He's cool. He has poise and swagger. He has cleaned his opponent two times in a row, and that's the best thing a president can do."
4. Boris Kodjoe
"I just like his leadership and swag. He's so aware of what the world needs. He's selfless. He has integrity, pride and commitment."
5. Mikki Taylor
"I think the most amazing thing about President Obama is he is his most authentic self and very much like the First Lady. He means what he says and he says what he means. He's not impacted by the impression of others. He says with great affirmation, 'We, the people.' That is what swells my heart with great joy."
6. Wilmer Valderamma
"He's one of the first presidents since Bill Clinton that we've been able to feel he's with us, right next to us. He feels like a neighbor to us. I respect his commitment to his agenda and looking forward to seeing a more aggressive Obama in the next four years and taking the knowledge and experience he's had in the last four years and implementing it with a sense of urgency. I hope he immediately attacks the immigration reform, which is what the Latin community really needs--to see the president is confident and the same time, honor the people who helped vote him in. Gay and lesbian rights is very important and and most importantly unite all cultures. I'm excited because he's a defining president and it feels like he's found a groove."
7. Wayne Brady
"Not only is he the leader of the free world--and this isn't because of race--he's the coolest president next to Bill Clinton, that we've ever had. When it's time to be stern, he does the 'president' thing. But then who busts out and sings, 'I'm so in love with you...' If he's not the coolest president, just for that? He gives orders to our nation's fleets and busts out Al Green. He wins."
8. Gabrielle Union
"Is it weird to say that he's black? All the things I'm thinking of, I so can't say!" [laughs] "You can see that he loves his wife and he loves his daughters. He's raising these two dope, beautiful, funny black women to be strong, fly and independent."
9. MC Lyte
"He remains calm in situations where it's most likely that others would be more revved up. Out of that calmness, we're able to see his vulnerability."
10. Kenny Lattimore
"I have a song called 'Built For Last,' and it speaks about the heart of a man I believe as a great leader, when I look at this man and the tenacity and he stands so confident, in spite of every obstacle and things that are thrown at him--it's an amazing characteristic. It's the reason we confide in him."
11. Judge Mathis
"His swag. He got it from me. I knew him from Chicago and we used to hang a little together. He saw my walk, and now he's president and I see him walking like me." [laughs]
12. Shaun Robinson
"I just think that he's a great role model. He's an honest man and he wants the best for everyone. I love the way he looks at his wife, Michelle. Every woman looks at him and how he looks at Michelle, like, 'Oh my God! That's so amazing!'"