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President Obama Goes for a Walk, Stuns Tourists

It was pretty nice out on Wednesday morning. So the President took a walk along the Ellipse.

It was pretty nice out. Why wouldn't you take a walk? Photograph by Pete Souza via the White House.

“Are you real?”

That’s what a young woman walking along the Ellipse said yesterday upon meeting President Obama when he took an unscheduled stroll among the public from the White House to the Interior Department. The President assured the startled woman that he is, indeed, very real.

“I’m not made out of wax,” Obama told the woman, who introduced herself as Anna.

Obama, trailed by a few dozen Secret Service agents, stopped to shake hands, take photos, and give out boxes of the White House’s special M&Ms to kids. And yet, he seemed to have trouble convincing some he wasn’t a wax idol come to life.

“Oh, my gosh, someone’s going to think you’re, like, wax,” a woman visiting with her family said when Obama offered to pose for a photograph.

Although Madame Tussauds could ask for no better endorsement, the woman was in fact meeting the real-life President—with the bonus of not having to shell out more than $20 for a museum ticket.

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Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.