Obama (and His Neighbors) Adjust to Maximum Security

President-elect must adapt to being country's most protected man
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 14, 2008 7:52 AM CST
Barack Obama's motorcade drives through the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago, heading towards Obama's transition office in downtown Chicago, Thursday, Nov. 13, 2008.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama is learning to live with the fact that his life has changed forever, the New York Times reports. The first president since Nixon to be elected while living in an urban neighborhood is spending some quality time at home while managing the transition, but his Hyde Park neighborhood has been turned into something of an armed fortress. The streets around his home have been closed to traffic, and residents and pre-cleared visitors must show picture ID at checkpoints.

Spur-of-the moment strolls are out of the question, and his Secret Service guards have nixed his regular trip to the barber, who has large plate-glass windows. Associates say Obama is as relaxed as ever, but they imagine he must sometimes miss being just another guy in the neighborhood. "It’s always just the two of them,” said the chef at Obama's favorite Italian restaurant, where he took Michelle for dinner Saturday. “Now it’s just the two of them and 30 Secret Service agents."