Obama tests survival skills

He helped make tea from catkins, ate a salmon prechewed by a bear and discussed why people would drink their own urine.

On Thursday night, President Obama appeared in an episode of the survivalist reality show "Running Wild With Bear Grylls," part of an effort by the White House to highlight the perils of climate change. While trekking in the Alaskan wild, the president and Grylls bemoaned the rapid retreat of a vast glacier.

But the episode also revealed Obama as a leader made claustrophobic by tight security, a father who is worried about appearing cool to his daughters, and a man who likes pushing through a forest and scrabbling over rocks to reach his campsite.

Grylls, a former Special Forces soldier, has created an eat-nasty-critters show on NBC that sometimes provides a more intimate portrait of celebrities than they would offer in traditional interviews.

Said Obama, "I'm in what's called the bubble, and Secret Service makes sure that I'm always out of danger, which I very much appreciate but can be a little confining."

new york times