Obama finally gets his stroll in Central Park


President Obama, daughter Sasha and her friends walk through Central Park in New York on Saturday. (Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP)

New Yorkers were in for a surprise Saturday when they spotted President Obama out for a stroll in Central Park.

In Manhattan for a Democratic National Committee fundraiser on Friday, Obama brought his daughters and a few of their friends along for a whirlwind weekend that included a Broadway matinee and a late-night tour of the new Whitney Museum of American Art.

Before heading back to D.C. on Saturday, the president managed to squeeze in one last activity, satiating a craving he’d had for years.

“The thing that you miss most when you’re president — extraordinary privilege, and really nice plane and all kinds of stuff — but suddenly, not only have you lost your anonymity, but your capacity to just wander around and go into a bookstore, or go to a coffee shop or walk through Central Park,” Obama said at a New York City fundraiser in 2012. “I just desperately want to take a walk through Central Park again, and just remember what that feels like.”

At the time, the Secret Service didn’t go for it. But two years later the president got his wish, strolling through the park like a regular New Yorker — motorcade and all.