HE WALKED? You're kidding. What, with his wife and family and all? The whole way? Great heavens, it must be all of two miles. George, hand us the Guinness Book of Records over there. Does it say anything about long-distance walking in Washington? When do you suppose was the last time an adult American male with a valid driver's license or cab fare in his pocket walked voluntarily from the Capitol to the White House? Except of course for the backpacking nuts and the physical-fitness types. You don't suppose that he's physical-fitness type do you? Remember, there's a lot we don't know about this guy.
A whole way of life has been assaulted here. It is the way that would rather stew in traffic jams than ride on a $4 billion subway, but would rather ride the subway at any price (which, in the end, is what it will probably cost) than pedal a bicycle - and would certainly rather pedal a bicycle than walk. Walk, when he had a limousine right there? Walk, when - unlike the bands and the military color guards and the rest - nobody told him he had to? Astounding.
It's ture, of course, that sometimes national customs and ways of life suddenly change. But the first consequence of this event will undoubtedly be a jont delegation to the White House of all the people who make helicopters, cars, richshaws and skateboards, making sure that the President understands the full dimensions of his example. A nation of people who walk? It would be good for the mortality tables, to be sure, and for the epidemic of heart disease that increasingly afflicts the United States. But what about the Gross National Product? Let's keep our priorities straight.