Former President Barack Obama admitted that if his high school activities were online somewhere, he probably wouldn’t have been president.
Obama made his comments during a discussion about young people running for office and organizing their communities at the University of Chicago.
“The problem is, with the internet, that past is always there,” he said.
Obama advised aspiring young professionals to “own it.”
“If you had pictures of everything I had done when I was in high school, I probably wouldn’t have been president of the United States,” Obama said with a chuckle.
Obama admitted that he used to smoke pot in high school, but said that he detailed his drug use experience in his first book Dreams from my Father. He said that his honesty about the issue helped him deal with political opponents and critics who tried to use it against him.
“I learned from that, I didn’t sugar coat it, I didn’t suggest somehow it had been something that recommended for everybody, but that’s what teenage kids did at that age where I was growing up,” he said. “Not everybody, some were wiser than me, I wasn’t that wise.”
Obama admitted that it was difficult to have the public “all up in your business,” adding that he had a lot of biographers dramatizing his life.
“I would advise all of you to be a little more circumspect about your selfies, and what you take pictures of,” he said lightly. “Just a suggestion.”