President Obama And Daughters Rock NYC During Whirlwind Bonding Trip

President Obama was in Manhattan on Friday for a Democratic National Committee fundraiser and was able to spend some quality time with daughters Malia, 17, and Sasha, 14. After a couple of years longing for a walk through Central Park, President Obama got to take his long-awaited stroll with his daughters on Saturday.

During a press briefing on Friday, White House spokesperson Josh Earnest said the President was “looking forward to a rare opportunity he’ll have to spend a little personal time with his daughters.” Earnest also added journalists would not be “participating,” joking “that might interfere with the personal nature of the father-daughter time.”

At a New York City fundraiser in 2012, the President said while many privileges come with the presidency, he did miss being able to go to a coffee shop or bookstore and remain anonymous. At the time, President Obama thought about coming up with a disguise so he could go for that walk, but the Secret Service turned him down.

“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. I just desperately want to take a walk through Central Park again, and just remember what that feels like.”

The family met up with President Obama’s sister Maya Soetoro-Ng and her husband Konrad Ng during the walk. Some of the girls’ friends also went on the trip. New Yorkers took notice of the president and his family while on their walk. Obama waved to the crowds in Central Park and shook hands with a street vendor.

After the walk, they caught a matinee performance of Hamilton at the Richard Rodgers theater and took an after hours tour of the new Whitney Museum of American Art. Obama then flew back to Washington, D.C. Saturday night.

The weekend in New York was Obama’s idea. The President has expressed that his daughters don’t spend as much time with him now that they’re older. In an interview last month, Obama said, “They’re hitting the age where they still love me, but they think I’m completely boring. And so they’ll come in, pat me on the head, talk to me for 10 minutes, and then they’re gone all weekend. They break my heart.”

President Obama will return to NYC on Tuesday for a few hours, when he will appear on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart one last time.

[Photo by Pool/Getty Images]

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