Obama Takes the Wheel

From Sunlen Miller

Presidents don’t usually drive themselves anywhere, but today – in a highly unusual move – President Obama got to drive.

Well, only 10 feet. But when you’re president that counts for something.

After touring a GM plant in Hamtramck, Michigan today – Mr. Obama stopped at the end of the assembly line and jokingly asked his secret service agent if he would allow him to get in and drive. After a few jokes – including one from his press secretary who quipped that he hoped the car has airbags since it had been so long since he’d driven - the consensus was that the president could drive.

The president got in a four door black Chevy Volt and drove for about 10 feet on the assembly line.

“I’m telling you guys, pretty smooth,” The president said with a big smile on his face getting out of the car.

Robert Gibbs told reporters afterward that this was a highly unusual event, but not unprecedented. The president has driven once before as president – when he visited a Secret Service training facility in April of this year, and drove a Dodge Charger at a closed-press event.

"We probably have to restart the heart of Vic who seemed less than thrilled,” Gibbs joked of Obama’s lead secret service agent today, "Its been awhile.”

A White House official says that other than that one time previously the president has not driven since he got Secret Service protection in the spring of 2007.

The president’s last car was a Ford Escape Hybrid - the lease was up so it was turned back in, a white House official says.

-Sunlen Miller

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