The White House press pool was engaged in a high speed chase today – with the president of the United States.
This afternoon in San Antonio, the press pool, which generally rides in a couple of vans toward the rear of the motorcade, was separated from the forward part of the procession, which includes the president.
This resulted in a madcap race in which the pool careened perilously through the city trying to chase down President Obama.
From the pool report:
Travel pool was separated for about 20 minutes from the motorcade en route to the next stop at a private residence. This separation resulted in a high speed, wild goose chase weaving through the streets of San Antonio. Led by a police escort, your pool was led up wrong way streets, driving on the shoulder of highways, and so on. Finally, after cars were literally pushed off the highway by the police escort and the three White House pool vans, we had interstate 10 ourselves at a speed of about 85 miles per hour. (Needless to add, it was a crazy ride.)
But the pool was finally able to catch up with the motorcade about 20 minutes into the ride.
While it’s important for the press to be near the president when he’s en route somewhwere – mainly in case something unexpected happens – I’m not so sure it’s so important as to engage in a chase that may have risked the lives of local drivers and pedestrians.
It’s possible, though, that there were vehicles behind the press pool in the motorcade that had a more vital interest in being near the president.