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. pugnacious

    obama has a giant suv and brown has a pickup. well michelle has a couple of fat daughters maybe she sould buy them a snow shovel.
    just following the headlines.

    February 6, 2010 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  2. ajfaber269

    is this waht passes for news at CNN?

    February 6, 2010 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  3. Fed Up

    I thought the man had SOME brains. I guess I was too generous. When everyone else is supposed to stay off the roads, why is he risking his Secret Service details lives???? If he doesn't care about his own, that's fine. Talk about a self-centered individual!

    February 6, 2010 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  4. Thank you Massachusetts

    So while officials are begging the "regular" folk to stay off the roads the president just had to get out in it and risk lives. A bit of: "Do as I say, not as I do." Youthful inexperience makes yet another appearance.

    February 6, 2010 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  5. flguy81

    i miss snow. no snow in florida, only rain.

    February 6, 2010 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    Obama should have stayed at the White House instead of venturing out in this weather. What a waste of money and time.

    February 6, 2010 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  7. Herman from Chicago

    Let me see if I have this correct...in addition to vehicles for The President and his staff and the Secret Service, we the taxpayers pay to transport the press who cover him too?

    February 6, 2010 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  8. poola

    I think A Higher Power is trying to send a message to someone, I wonder who that would be>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    February 6, 2010 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  9. Aspen Professor

    "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."

    One can only hope that the media spoken of were all from the FOX Channel. They seem "snowed" by even the simplist truth.

    February 6, 2010 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  10. Gerry NH

    This is all the emergency personel need another nut driving around in a major winter storm getting in everyones way. Another thoughtless act.

    February 6, 2010 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    "But the scariest moment came when ... a tree branch, weighed down by the snow, snapped and fell onto a vehicle carrying members of the media."

    That was scary? Wow. I'm not impressed.

    February 6, 2010 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  12. Michael from Ventura

    Glad no one was hurt. I'm sure the haters will have lots of nasty comments on this one.....Watch them spew and think if this is what you want representing America!

    February 6, 2010 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  13. Tammy

    We the American People Need to Come Together in a Spirit of Unity, Harmony & Agreement with President Barack Obama to successfully get the Health Care Reform Bill Successfully Passed thru the U.S. Congressional Panel in the Whitehouse. In Order to Move This Bill Forward the American People need to stand Up and Allow their Voices to be heard by Petitioning the Congressman representing their state as US Congressman to support President Obama. Stand, Stand, Voice, Voice, Action, Action, Petition, Petition, Success, Success.

    In the Words of President Barack Obama:

    Let’s finish the job on health reform

    An alarming new study shows that health care costs increased last year at the fastest rate in more than a half century.

    Health care spending rose to an estimated $2.5 trillion in 2009, or $8,047 per person—and is now projected to nearly double by 2019. If we don’t act, this growing burden will mean more lost jobs, more families pushed into bankruptcy, and more crushing debt for our nation.

    The conclusion is clear: This isn’t a problem we can kick down the road for another decade—or even another year. We need to pass health reform now.

    We’re incredibly close. But too many in Washington are now saying that we should delay or give up reform entirely. So we need to make it crystal clear that Americans understand the stakes for our economy and our lives, and that we want action.

    It is Time Now for the American People to take Action to Save this Nation and get the Health Care Reform Bill Passed Now.


    February 6, 2010 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  14. chris l

    shouldve hit obamas car. dam global warming

    February 6, 2010 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  15. Mike Dehart

    Our tax dollars at work. A good way to save money is to make the President or DNC pay out of pocket for the cost of the motorcade and 'personal appearances for the benefit of the DNC.

    February 6, 2010 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  16. LT. ROBERT

    what a waste!

    February 6, 2010 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  17. sandy

    Hmmmmm, two incidents involving vehicles caring the media....must be some kind of conspiracy.

    February 6, 2010 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  18. ib

    Can't even spend a snow day at the White House. I 'm surprised he wasn't out trying to fly somewhere on AF1 like he usually is.

    February 6, 2010 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    What a joke.... The Secret Service is supposed to be the best, yet they cannot drive in inclement weather without smashing something up. Tip for you, Go to Wisconsin, Dakotas, Wyoming, Montana.... where it really snows and people get around a lot better than the DC mafia....

    February 6, 2010 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  20. Turnabout is Fair Play

    Neither rain nor sleet nor snow will stop our excellent president from his appointed rounds of meeting the people. The only thing that can stop our president is God himself and I know that God is on his side. He would have hamstrung that idiot ex-prez we had before Obama tho.

    February 6, 2010 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  21. Nancy Dunlay

    Wouldn't you think that the President of the United States would have more common sense that to go out in a severe snowstorm, not only risking his life, but also his entourage. Shame on Obama....

    February 6, 2010 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  22. Vote the Bums Out!

    Not even a blizzard can keep the fools from spending millions per second!

    February 6, 2010 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  23. Dr. Leo Edwards

    The Tea Party is a new face for the Ku Klux Klan, and Sarah Palin is the new face of the Grand Wizzard.

    February 6, 2010 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  24. Carlos

    Why the heck didn't the fools stay at home like they told everybody else to. Oh, I forgot we're talking about obower aren't we.

    February 6, 2010 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  25. ryan

    I just want to inform that the Obama administration is starting to look strong.

    They gave the senate members a can of whoop ass on both sides.

    Dems had a majority and wanted to extort Obama, they did not succeed.( With a little help from Senator Brown)
    Reps wanted to break Obama, they did not succeed.

    Internationally USA gave CHina a double blow ( Dalai lama and Taiwan) after China's double backstabbing at the climate summit ( the surprise last minute change's ) and during the China visit ( restricted media ).China got the rude awakening they asked for.

    The corrupt IRan government ( Ahmedinejad ) has grown very weak due to the regime change in USA.

    The mid eastern is gradually transitioning from very unstable to little less unstable ( big progress comes with small increments and it is starting to show).

    The fall of the economy got stopped , as are the loss of jobs numbers decreasing .

    A downsized or adjusted Health care plan will most likely be approved , which is still better than nothing and is still the biggest social legislation for the last 50 years ( thats how long people have been neglected and has nothing to do with socialism ).
    If you want the poor to obtain more purchasing power ( help stimulate the economy) , they will need to have some basic facilities first ( like health insurance , can't take risks without it ).

    All in all, the world became a safer place , and don't bend your whole policy because of the "terrorising non state actors" who will shoot us down anyway if they get the chance.
    Defense industry money does not trinkle down the way like the automotive and commercial transport industry does.it only makes their select group of stake holders richer.
    Now that they all got toned down , let's work for tomorrow.
    Enjoy your day foaks.

    February 6, 2010 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
1 2 3