Amara Graps: What happened to Bush’s Cadillac One?

amara grapsNow for something a little different…

I’ve been trying for some time to get one of Asymptotia’s regulars, Amara Graps, (click on image to the right for larger view) to give us a guest post. She sent me one by email, somewhat unexpectedly, a couple of hours ago, and I must say I did not anticipate the topic!

So here we have it… Amara telling us a bit about certain recent events in Rome. Enjoy!



What happened to Bush’s Cadillac One?

As recorded by a viewer of the motorcade and posted to YouTube [jump to 3:15 point to get to the main event]:

It apparently sputtered to a stop. It broke down, right there, on via del Tritone (near the Trevi fountain) in Rome, in the middle of the motorcade. He was ripe picking for a sharp shooter too; no wonder the police were pushing people further back, off of the street. It looks like the solution was to switch limos, because he got out of the limo with Mrs. Bush and climbed into another one.

This is a very special car. If it is a mechanical failure, then the manufacturers have a lot of explaining to do. His visit to Rome had been preceded by a large security operation (perhaps inconsistently). The Tiber was dragged. The sewers were searched. Squares were cleared and roofs occupied. The presidential motorcade along its route was preceded by a swarm of more than a dozen motorcycles, scooters and even motorized three-wheelers carrying tough-looking armed police.

Yet, it sputtered and stalled. As others have noted, this particular car is under guard 24/7. Modern engines are highly reliable. When is the last time one saw the Presidential Limo fail to proceed?

One could dismiss this as a grand Roman comedy of which Alberto Sordi could be proud. After the limo-switch, Bush’s new limo then did not fit into the secondary gate of the American Embassy (via Lucullo); it was apparently too long to enter. Rome is, after all, a city where tragedies and comedies are amplified 100 times. Witness the latest spectacle by the Italian politicians, the highest-paid in Europe, who want ice-cream in the Parliament.

Yet, the White House is spinning the story:

Bush’s limousine stalled between the Vatican and the U.S. embassy, White House counselor Dan Bartlett said. It took about two minutes for the motorcade to get going again. He said Bush did not get out of the car during the stop and resumed his ride in the same limousine. The president’s entourage passed a mechanic working under the hood of one of the presidential limousines as it left the embassy later.

The large press have just begun to pick up the story. I suggest to look for it, and follow it scattered in blogs, here and there.


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9 Responses to Amara Graps: What happened to Bush’s Cadillac One?

  1. Amara says:

    I owe Clifford an apology, in that I know he was waiting for a juicy scientific post, special for here and him, and this is the best I could manage after seven months and four grant proposals later. View this as a vignette story that spontaneously emerged over the weekend after watching Bee’s progress this last week with her own Roman experience. I’m usually not that keyed into all of the details of the activities in Rome (I live 30 minutes by train away, and I have a heavy travel schedule besides), but in this week, I am. So here, I hope you enjoy this eccentric view from a crazy place, even if it is … not … exactly … science.

  2. Bee says:

    Thanks for that story 🙂

  3. Clifford says:

    Yes, thanks Amara!


  4. Amara says:

    You’re welcome. There are ironies within ironies about this story, you know, and the symbolism is fantastic. Bush’s motorcade sputters and stops ??! In the city of amplified comedies and tragedies?! His quick fix solution is to switch vehicles??! Unfortunately, no deranged leaper in the vicinity this time. And since that ultra high-tech bullet-proofed and bio-weapon-filtered Cadillac One is a 2006 model, one would hope that Bush can get his money back….

  5. Amara says:

    Can I add to our Roman comedy? It’s Transnational, now, you see.

    It seems that while Bush was shaking hands with his Albanian public, his watch disappeared.

    There’s no time like the present?
    Time and tide wait for no man?

    Time to Quit?

  6. Arun says:

    Your story is great at many levels! You’d need to read through to come up with all of them.

  7. Amara says:

    Arun: Glad you like the story.. It’s all Bush’s though, you know. I’m just an interested reporter…
    (Did I forget to close my boldface bracket? sorry about that, if so)

  8. Terry Bryant says:

    Not sure how I found this post, but I am glad I did. I wonder if the limousine was sabotaged, hmmm… If you listen to the video clip closely, it sounds like the limo simply ran out of gas. That would be the biggest irony of all:D

  9. Terry Bryant says:

    Did Bush’s limousine run out of gas? 🙂