Speed Reads

Quotables

Obama jokes the U.S. presidency was 'a very nice prison'

Former President Barack Obama got candid Tuesday in Milan when asked what he doesn't miss about the White House. While he said he had a "long list," he noted the "hardest thing" about being president is the "isolation." "[Y]ou live in what's called 'the bubble,'" Obama said, referring to the security apparatus that surrounds a U.S. president. "And 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 a security concern around you. I don't miss that."

Now that his time in office is over, Obama joked that he's "only captive to selfies." "Which is almost as bad," he said. "I can walk anywhere as long as I'm willing to take a selfie every two steps."

Obama's talk at the summit on food innovation also struck more serious notes. At one point, he urged people to vote and pay attention, because otherwise "you'll get policies that don't reflect your interest." "People have a tendency to blame politicians when things don't work, but as I always tell people, you get the politicians you deserve," Obama said.