Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New Presidential Cars & Seats

High priority is being flexed as to where the new presidential butt cheeks reside on the way to work or while in the Oval. A fully armored 2009 hermetically sealable Cadillac with CD player and access to The Google is ready for its debut on Inauguration Day. On the 20th of January, the presidential stretch limo might be the only thing GM makes that gets a two-mile solo worldwide debut this year. Professional gearheads are giving the hulked-up design an Ebert-like thumbs down. The Secret Service is giving the security accoutrements a raise the roof high five as they practice situational tactics in the non-lacquered primer version, affectionately dubbed, The Beast.
Already, spy photos of the limo -- with patches of gray primer -- have leaked out. And already, the reviews: "Ugly as sin," says one car enthusiast on an auto Web site.
"Can't we make a hotter ride for our pres?""Sheesh," says another, "why don't they just transport the president around in an Abrams tank."
One news agency, noting its 8-inch-thick doors, says the limo can withstand a "direct hit from an asteroid." But GM spokeswoman Joanne K. Krell laughed off the comments. (CNN Photo)
Considering that President Obama will have the keys to the nuclear arsenal at noon on that Tuesday, it is fitting the "car" should be able to take a Hell Fire licking and keep on trucking with the President safely tucked in his seat. The First Families' maximus glutinouses will ride upon hand sewn leather, inhaling that fresh new car smell on the first day on the job, with secure satellite phones in a moving cone of silence unless the window is down. Fat chance on that. The Secret Service is so protective of the car that upon delivery it is stripped down, checked for bugs and other creepy crawlies, then rebuilt from the tires up. Good on gas or mileage in something this fossil fuel ravenous will put a black hole in Obama's plan to green the White House. A total deficit on reducing the carbon footprint before he's even returned with the family back to 1600 and more bullet proof glass at the parade hut outside the executive mansion.

Meanwhile, as Barack gets back to the White House his chair should already be behind the desk he has chosen. And it is just not any old ergonomic chair for the Oval Office. It is named Washington. It is bulletproof and from another long time presidential vendor, Gunlocke. JFK ordered the first one to help out a bad back and 9 more presidents ordered their own to add to the unveiling of their Oval Offices. To the side of the desk are rosewood chairs, rather businesslike and straight backed for lesser mortals, that have been part of the Oval decor since 1933 and the time of FDR. Like Noah's Ark, two couches and two Parson chairs sitting as sentinels in front of the fireplace complete most of the seating for the Oval Office. The Chair closest to the Rose Garden Door is always the presidents and it is within reach of his "call" button that summons everything from a glass of water to his Chief of Staff.

Then there is the lush recliners and seating aboard the famous Air Force One. But I'll save that for another day. For more on the transition series.

For those who want to know more, there is a greatly detailed book, Air Force One: A History of Presidents and Their Planes, is chock full of their stories. Kenneth Walsh covers their history and dome of the latest gadgets inside the planes knows as AF1 only when the Commander in Chief is aboard. After January 20th, Renegade, is in charge.

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