Friday 9 December 2016

Barack Obama enjoys some father daughter time in New York with Sasha and Malia

Published 18/07/2015 | 18:18

U.S. President Barack Obama walks out with his daughter Sasha from the White House in Washington before departure to New York July 17, 2015. President Obama and Sasha are traveling to New York City to meet up with Obama's other daughter Malia for some father-daughter time. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
U.S. President Barack Obama walks out with his daughter Sasha from the White House in Washington before departure to New York July 17, 2015. President Obama and Sasha are traveling to New York City to meet up with Obama's other daughter Malia for some father-daughter time. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
U.S. President Barack Obama puts his arm around daughter Sasha as they walk toward Marine One upon their arrival at JFK Airport in New York, July 17, 2015. With them are two of Sasha's friends. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Barack Obama and daughter Sasha (L) descend the steps of Air Force One upon their arrival in New York, July 17, 2015. Also seen are two of Sasha's friends. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Barack Obama and daughter Sasha (R), along with two of Sasha's friends, board Air Force One as they depart Joint Base Andrews in Washington July 17, 2015. President Obama and Sasha are traveling to New York City to meet up with Obama's other daughter Malia for some father-daughter time. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Barack Obama and daughter Sasha (R), along with two of Sasha's friends, board Air Force One as they depart Joint Base Andrews in Washington July 17, 2015. President Obama and Sasha are traveling to New York City to meet up with Obama's other daughter Malia for some father-daughter time. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Barack Obama walks out with his daughter Sasha from the White House in Washington before departure to New York July 17, 2015. President Obama and Sasha are traveling to New York City to meet up with Obama's other daughter Malia for some father-daughter time. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
President Barack Obama walks out of the White House in Washington with his daughter Sasha, Friday, July 17, 2015, to board Marine One helicopter for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., before traveling to New York to attend a DNC fundraiser and stay overnight to spend time with both his daughters. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
U.S. President Barack Obama and daughter Sasha (R), along with two of Sasha's friends, board Air Force One as they depart Joint Base Andrews in Washington July 17, 2015. President Obama and Sasha are traveling to New York City to meet up with Obama's other daughter Malia for some father-daughter time. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Barack Obama (C) shakes hands with a vendor while walking in Central Park with daughters Sasha (2nd R) and Malia (R) in New York, July 18, 2015. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Barack Obama walks in Central Park with daughter Sasha in New York, July 18, 2015. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Barack Obama walks in Central Park with daughters Sasha, Malia and their friends in New York, July 18, 2015. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Barack Obama walks in Central Park with daughters Sasha (L) and Malia (R) in New York, July 18, 2015. The other girl is a friend of the Obama girls. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Barack Obama walks in Central Park with daughter Sasha in New York, July 18, 2015. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. President Barack Obama walks in Central Park with daughter Sasha in New York, July 18, 2015. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Barack Obama walks in Central Park with daughters Sasha (4th L), Malia (3rd R) and friends in New York, July 18, 2015. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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Helicopters whirling overhead, a phalanx of New York police officers on scooters to shoo away tourists, and about 50 anxious Secret Service agents fanning out in front, to the sides, and to the rear.

That is how you take a Saturday stroll in Central Park when you are the president of the United States.

President Barack Obama - who has often chafed at the confines of his office - was in Manhattan this weekend, trying to spend some time with his daughters Sasha and Malia and show them a good time in the big city.

With 18 months left in office, Obama is both working hard on a long to-do list of things he wanted to accomplish as president, but also looking forward to the next chapter of his life, when he can move around with more freedom.

Saturday was not the first time Obama has tried to break though the bubble of security and officialdom that surrounds him to try to do something ordinary - a mission that is almost impossible despite the power of his office.

But it was the first time in years he has managed to take a stroll though Central Park, in the city where he studied at Columbia University in the 1980s.

In 2012, after four years in office, Obama spoke wistfully about the loss of anonymity and spontaneity that comes with the job.

At a campaign event before his re-election, he recounted a scheme he hatched to use a fake mustache to take a walk and get a hot dog on a beautiful day in Manhattan - an idea the Secret Service quickly nixed.

"I said, 'You know, I just desperately want to take a walk through Central Park again, and just remember what that feels like,'" he recalled.

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