February 6th, 2010
08:34 PM ET
13 years ago

Presidential motorcade 'snow-fu'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/06/art.branch.cnn.jpg caption="A branch fell on the presidential motorcade Saturday."]Washington (CNN) - President Obama ditched his souped-up Cadillac limousine fondly known as "the Beast" this weekend for a vehicle capable of plowing through 20-plus inches of snow. Obama is traveling in an armored Chevy Suburban four-wheel-drive SUV to ensure he keeps to his schedule, despite the harrowing weather conditions.

The blizzard Obama called "snowmageddon" didn't stop his presidential motorcade from navigating the snow-covered streets of Washington Saturday, but it did cause a few hairy moments. Before the 15-vehicle motorcade even pulled out of the White House driveway, one of the emergency support vehicles in the caravan lost traction and slid into another vehicle.

Fortunately, its occupants – members of the media – hadn't yet loaded into the Chrysler Aspen SUV when the minor collision happened.

President Obama's five-minute journey from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capital Hilton, where he spoke to a DNC gathering, was slow-going. Under constant snow fall, the vehicles inched forward at 15 miles per hour.

But the scariest moment came when the motorcade was returning from the president's event. On a narrow road between the Treasury Department and the White House, a tree branch, weighed down by the snow, snapped and fell onto a vehicle carrying members of the media.

White House press assistant Ben Finkenbinder, along with reporters and still photographers, jumped out of the SUV. The driver pulled the branch from the roof and within a minute the group continued on their way to the White House south lawn.

No one was hurt, and the president, in a vehicle several cars ahead, continued on to the White House, not even noticing the motorcade "snow-fu."

Filed under: Popular Posts • President Obama • White House
soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. MaryJo

    And to think people will criticize the man for taking a night off to go to the opera with his wife. All of you Tea Baggers, are you paying attention. No.

    February 6, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  2. GI Joe

    God's giving the gossip mongers a warning – they don't get it. We want news – unbiased – not gossip.

    February 6, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  3. Ben in Lansing, MI

    Hmmm. Must be global warming.

    February 6, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  4. jules sand-perkins

    "For His eye is on the sparrow..."
    Do you think that this Heaven-allowed action was intended for one of the press corpse men?
    Or...was it something the President said at the Hilton?

    February 6, 2010 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  5. Mandemus

    Does President Barry have a "corpse man" traveling with his motorcade in case of an accident? Lol.

    Oh wait, CNN didn't report that story. Gee, why are our ratings dropping faster than Lindsay Lohan's pants?

    February 6, 2010 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  6. Michael, Gallatin, TN

    A tree branch fell on an SUV carrying some reporters. Is this of some importance to anyone?

    February 6, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  7. Willy Brown

    Who cares

    February 6, 2010 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  8. porchhound

    WOW that is real action hero stuff going on there with POTUS...methinks a Silver Star to go along with his Nobel is in order...but ONLY AFTER he spends more time practicing his salute!

    February 6, 2010 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  9. DLH in VA

    Who was it that said the Haiti earthquake was natures way of punishing man for not achiveing anything at the Copen-Hagen-Daz Summit on Climate Change?

    Maybe Snowmaggedon is nature's way of saying man-made global warming is a pigment of your imagination..... Cap and Tax This!!!

    February 6, 2010 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  10. Lacharga

    Allah forbid he would have to stay at the WH and actually get some work done.

    February 6, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  11. Nancy

    So the idiot doesn't know when to stay out of a storm?????

    February 6, 2010 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  12. Kris G

    Was that due to his lack of a clean birth certificate?

    February 6, 2010 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  13. Don in Grand Rapids, Mi

    Wow, It must be a Verrrrryy slow news day at CNN!

    February 6, 2010 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |

    Call AlGore...he can change the environment (for a few tens of treeeellion of dollars).

    February 6, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  15. susan

    Should have donned snow shoes or cross-country skis.

    February 6, 2010 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  16. Greg, MN

    How's that burban on the environment? Or did Obama decide that this global warming is a bunch of crap this winter?

    February 6, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  17. LoveThyNeighbor

    WOO-HOO!!! We're all having fun! Hey, try to make the best of it and not be an ol' party pooper. There are ENOUGH of those around us now-a-days...Sam

    February 6, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  18. Jerry - Florida

    Oh well, I guess this incident may end up being good for some Democrats. At least most will not need to follow President NObama over the precipice.

    Also, I can't see how the President can rally the Democratic troops when he has not done anything of consequence himself. Democrats must start realizing that the American voters are not sitting down and shutting up like he's been demanding of us. He's zero for three: Virginia, New Jersey, and most recently, Massachusetts.

    It must also be made very clear to the American voters that the obstructionists to NObama's policies are not the Republicans, but rather, his own party members. Republican have had little or no say as to what goes on in Washington since January 2009.

    Will President NObama ever admit this. Don't hold your breath, otherwise, you may pass out. He will continue to blame the Republicans for issues that squarely lie on his shoulders. He will lie and cheat his way out all negative situations.

    Stay tuned!

    February 6, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  19. phoenix86

    Actually the most terrifying moment for America began (again) when Obama returned to the White House.

    February 6, 2010 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  20. Dan

    First the media vehicle skids into another one, then a branch falls on the media vehicle. Looks like even nature is beating up on the press.

    February 6, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  21. Emma

    This seems such trivia: it is no more important than Palin and her Tea Party.

    February 6, 2010 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  22. im not all that in 2 U

    No one was hurt, and the president, in a vehicle several cars ahead, continued on to the White House, not even noticing the motorcade "snow-fu."

    Kinda hard to notice when you cant think, speak, or look at anything thats not all about UUUUUUUUUUUUU.

    February 6, 2010 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  23. Bill

    Why do we use taxpayer resources to get the president to a political (DNC) meeting? Shouldn't the parties have to use their own resources for these types of things? Sure they do. Wink. Wink.

    February 6, 2010 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  24. Ken C

    God forbid that Obama should actually miss a speaking engagement.

    February 6, 2010 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  25. Texas Jack

    It's a shame he can't drive into a snowbank and not be found until summer after next.

    February 6, 2010 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
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