President Obama revealed some of the personal items he occasionally carries in his pocket — including a Buddha statuette, a poker chip, and rosary beads given to him by Pope Francis.
In an interview with YouTube vlogger Ingrid Nilsen Friday afternoon, Obama revealed five items he's received over the years as president that he considers meaningful and that he carries as a reminder of the people he's met and the stories he's heard.
"Ever since I started running for office, people started handing me things when I’d speak to a crowd — lucky charms or keepsakes or things that meant something to them," Obama said, adding that he has a bowl full of items that he'll choose items from to carry.
Obama showed Nilsen the rosary beads Pope Francis gave to him, saying, "I so admire him and it makes me think about peace and promoting understanding and ethical behavior."
He also revealed a small Buddha statue given to him by a Buddhist monk, a lucky metal poker chip given to him by a biker in Iowa in 2007, a small statuette of the Hindu Monkey God, and a Coptic cross from Ethiopa.
Nilsen had asked the president to bring personal items as part of a series she films for her YouTube channel called "Sense of Self," which takes Nilsen into people's homes and offices as they tell her the stories behind personal items they possess.
Obama sat down with Nilsen and YouTube vloggers Destin Sandlin and SWooZie on Friday for interviews, continuing the White House's partnership with YouTube that began in 2015 after the State of the Union address.