We’ve all heard some scarcely-believable rumors about some sly, clever ways in which our head of state is allegedly kept safe: a system of escape tunnels running below the white house; super bunkers that can withstand one of the almighty Satan’s full tilt, gale force 13 belches while housing the president and select staff in relative, sustainable comfort for 100 years; etc. etc.
But perhaps most surprising is that these rumors are, remarkably, not so unbelievable after all. Or at least, more believable than just how easy it is to get a job driving a massive, loaded Chevrolet in the President’s motorcade.
Citing a story published in the New York Times, Road & Track reports that the official presidential motorcade makes use of volunteers to pilot the majority of its 15-passenger vans. Untrained volunteers, mind you, who are no more than a clean record and a valid driver’s license away from chauffeuring some pretty darn high-profile people.
So why the lack of discretion? Road & Track cites both that volunteers are (obviously) cheaper, and that the Secret Service “has no obligation to protect either White House staff or reporters that tail the president.” Those volunteers typically fall in-line behind the Secret Service vehicles, and before the Presidential ambulance.
But before we go and condemn Mr. Obama for a lack of caution, it’s worth noting that the Presidential motorcade has made use of such volunteers since the 1980s, or earlier. So far, it seems to have worked out pretty well.
So if you’re not doing anything and the President comes into town, why not volunteer to drive a massive Chevrolet/Cadillac in the official motorcade, and squeeze in a test drive while you’re at it?