Speed Reads

The Bear is Loose

When do we get the outtakes from Obama's stroll through Washington?

White House

On Thursday, the White House released what it describes as "raw video" of President Obama taking a rare, unannounced stroll along the Mall from the White House to the Interior Department building, where he declared New Mexico's Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks area a national monument.

The video is "raw" in that in that it's not TV-quality and there's no soundtrack or anything, but all of the recorded interactions with tourists and locals are positive. It could be that there were only high-fives and wowed visitors — and yes, this was released by the White House. But if there were any awkward confrontations, that might be interesting to watch, too — if nothing else to see how Obama responds. And if there wasn't any discomfort, isn't that what late-night TV is for?

Obama isn't the first president to go out in public to mingle with the people. As Gawker reminds us, Richard Nixon took a bizarre 4 a.m. stroll to the Lincoln Memorial with his butler in May 1970 to chat with student protesters. And, via The Washington Post, both Teddy Roosevelt and John Quincy Adams were prone to skinny dip in Washington's rivers and creeks. Luckily, there was no YouTube to share those images with us.