PERILS FOR THE PRESS

Storm makes believers out of the media, and President Obama

Sunday, February 7, 2010

A five-minute drive back to the White House from the Capital Hilton was a bit eventful for some of the media folks who accompanied President Obama to a speech before the Democratic National Committee.

As the 15-vehicle motorcade entered East Executive Drive, a medium-size tree branch snapped under the weight of snow and fell on the Chrysler Aspen transporting photographers. The windshield was awash in snow, and the SUV came to a quick stop. But the limb was dragged away, and the pool returned to the White House at 11 a.m.

The vehicle was the same one nicked by an ambulance on the way to the event earlier. The ambulance left a small dent and scratch on the driver's side door.

Obama managed to work the weather into his pep talk to Democratic delegates who have watched their party suffer a string of setbacks over the past three months.

"Sometimes we may be moving forward against the prevailing winds," he said. "Sometimes it may be against a blizzard. But we're going to live up to our responsibility to lead."

Last winter, Obama called out Washington for its weather wimpiness, expressing surprise that schools were shuttered because of a day of ice.

"As my children pointed out, in Chicago school is never canceled," he said at the time. "We're going to have to try to apply some flinty Chicago toughness."

This year, Obama struck a different tone. He's dubbed this storm "Snowmageddon."

-- Ceci Connolly


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