What does Obama carry in his pocket?

Barack Obama (AP)
Barack Obama (AP)

Washington -  When President US Barack Obama feels tired or discouraged, reaching into his pocket can help him get over it.

For inspiration he carries some of the keepsakes people have given him since he started running for office. He says that helps him cope on a bad day "because somebody gave me this privilege to work on these issues that are going to affect them".

The upshot: Obama realises "I better get back to work."

The president made the revelation on Friday during separate interviews with three YouTube personalities. One of his interviewers had asked ahead of time for Obama to bring a meaningful item and talk about it.

He was prepared.

When asked, Obama pulled quite an assortment from his right pants pocket: rosary beads from Pope Francis, a tiny Buddha, a metal poker chip he said came from a bald biker with a handlebar mustache he met in Iowa in 2007, a Coptic cross from Ethiopia and a Hindu statuette of the monkey god Hanuman.

Obama has too many of the mementoes to carry all of them around "but I'll pick out a few things...to remind me of all the people I've met along the way and the stories they told me," he told Ingrid Nilsen of Los Angeles. She's known as "Missglamorazzi" on the video sharing website.

Sandlin, who said he holds a civilian job at the Department of Defence, asked Obama to describe the characteristics of "Obamium," a hypothetical element named after him.

"I would want it to be stable," Obama said. "I would want it to be a catalyst, but one that didn't get too hot or too cold, and hopefully, it would be one that was useful to humanity, that we could actually use and wasn't just some shiny object."

Obama said his favourite movie last year was The Martian, starring Matt Damon. He has not seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Asked by "sWooZie" who would emerge victorious if musicians Drake and Kendrick Lamar faced off in a rap battle, Obama chose Lamar. He said Drake is an "outstanding entertainer," but that Lamar had the best album last year, titled To Pimp a Butterfly. Last year Obama praised Lamar's song, How Much a Dollar Cost.


We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
When planning for the Black Friday sales do you:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Save, research and plan ahead, preparing to make the most of it?
8% - 906 votes
Wait and see what looks like a good deal on the day?
14% - 1702 votes
Have no interest in spending more money this year?
78% - 9377 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
15.21
(+0.91)
ZAR/GBP
20.31
(+0.88)
ZAR/EUR
18.08
(+0.71)
ZAR/AUD
11.19
(+0.24)
ZAR/JPY
0.15
(+1.06)
Gold
1807.64
(-1.54)
Silver
23.20
(-1.30)
Platinum
960.00
(+3.66)
Brent Crude
45.51
(+2.15)
Palladium
2340.00
(+0.48)
All Share
57761.92
(+1.08)
Top 40
53049.43
(+1.09)
Financial 15
11674.99
(+2.97)
Industrial 25
80126.12
(+0.26)
Resource 10
52568.48
(+1.54)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo