Just two days after President Obama called for a five-year domestic spending freeze, a freeze in the most literal sense hit Washington: Snow up to 16 inches in areas blanketed the region Wednesday, leaving commuters stranded overnight for upwards of 13 hours on the George Washington Parkway and 650,000-some homes and businesses without power.
So D.C. residents affected by the storm probably had minimal sympathy when the weather inconvenienced the presidential motorcade for an hour. Finding his helicopter, Marine One, grounded by the snow upon his return from a trip to Wisconsin, Obama and a fleet of Secret Service agents weaved through traffic from Andrews Air Force Base to the White House —normally a 20-minute trip.
But non-presidential commuters shouldn’t roll their eyes too dramatically: White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the commute was prolonged because Secret Service did not want to divert resources handling the storm in other parts of Washington.
Clearly, their benevolence paid off. Though most area schools were closed today, federal agencies remain open under a two-hour arrival delay.