Looking forward to getting out of the “bubble”, outgoing US President Barack Obama has contradicted the general perception of him living off taxpayers’ money in the White House, saying he bore all his family’s expenses, including the cost of toilet paper.
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“You know, I mentioned how I’ve got a pretty thick skin in this job. You’ve got to have it. One thing that did kind of get under my craw sometimes was people talking as if when we went on vacation or– … that people’d be like, ‘Oh, spending taxpayer money’. It’s like, ‘No, no, I actually I’m paying for all of this’,” Obama said as he contradicted the general impression that he lived on taxpayers’ money and had never had to use his wallet.
“The only thing I don’t pay for is Secret Service and an airplane. And communications, because I don’t have any choice,” Obama was quoted as saying by the CBS News in his last interview before he hands over the reign to his successor Donald Trump on January 20.
“But, you know, we buy our own toilet paper even here in the White House. You know, it’s not free. I’ve got a grocery bill at the end of every month. You know, our toothpaste, our orange juice, that all gets paid. But it is true that I don’t carry my wallet that often,” Obama said.
Obama said that he is going to have some catching up to do in terms of how day-to-day things operate.
“I’m going to have some catching up to do in terms of how day-to-day things operate,” Obama said.
Obama said one thing is certain on January 21, the day after his presidency ends, that he will not set an alarm.
“Well, here’s one thing is I’m not setting my alarm.
That, I’m certain of. That I am absolutely positive of. I’m going to spend time with Michelle. And, you know, we got some catching up to do. We’ve both been busy,” he said.
Obama, the first black American president, said he is looking forward to getting out of the bubble.
“I am looking forward to getting out of the bubble. I am glad that I’m leaving this place at a relatively young age, at 55. So I have the opportunity for a second maybe even a third act in a way that I think would be tougher if I were, you know, the age of some presidents when they left,” he said.
“There’s some bittersweet feelings about leaving the people here. Because even though all the team you assemble, you know, you’re going to stay in touch with them, it’s not the same, you know? The band kind of breaks up,” he said.
“I think I’m the best president I’ve ever been right now. And I think the team that is operating right now functions as well as any team that I’ve had. And so, you know, there is a part of you that thinks, ‘Man, we’re pretty good at this stuff right now. And you hate to see that talent disperse’,” he noted.