President Barack Obama would love to don a fake mustache for his upcoming trip to Israel
next week, if only to get back some of the "spontaneous interactions" he lost when he assumed office.
"Sometimes I have this fantasy that I can put on a disguise, wear a fake mustache and I can wander through Tel Aviv and go to a bar and have a conversation," he said in a taped interview with Israeli's Channel 2 at the White House earlier this week.
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Obama said going out unnoticed is one of the most difficult things about being president.
"You've tapped into something that chafes at me," he said. "You can't just slip out and interact with people without having a bunch of guys with machine guns with you."
Obama will travel to the Middle East next week, where he says he and his team are going to try to find ways to interact directly with the Israeli people.
"I'd love to sit at a cafe and just hang out," Obama said. "The last time I was there, as a senator, I still had the option of wandering through the Old City in Jerusalem. That option, I think, becomes a lot trickier when you're actually president."
This isn’t the first time Obama has wanted some alone time. At a fundraiser in June, he joked that he once tried on a fake mustache in hopes of getting the Secret Service to allow him to walk in Central Park by himself.
"I got this fake moustache and I tried it on and I thought it looked pretty good, but when I tested this scheme with the Secret Service, they said it didn’t look good enough," Obama said, laughing. "I have kept this mustache just incase. So if a couple years from now you see a guy with big ears and a mustache just pretend you don't know who it is. Just look away."
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Obama's goals for his Israeli trip include mending the damaged relationship with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, urging Israel to again negotiate with the Palestinians, and discussing how to stop Iran from building a nuclear weapon.
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