Hamtramck, Mich. – Sitting U.S. Presidents are chauffeured pretty much everywhere they do not drive. So it was both spontaneous and special when President Barack Obama stepped into a black Chevrolet Volt on Friday and took the shortest of test drives – about 12m.
“Pretty smooth,” the President said as he stepped out of the Volt to resume his tour of the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant. The impromptu drive occurred after consultations among the Secret Service and Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, who said he hoped the Volt had an air bag. In fact, it has eight air bags.
Gibbs confirmed it was a highly unusual, though not unprecedented, opportunity for Obama. The President last drove a private vehicle three to four months ago at a Secret Service training facility.
During remarks at the plant, Obama referred to his other car, a specially built Cadillac limousine.
“Now, I have to tell you some of you saw me drive a Volt about 30cm. They don’t let me drive much these days,” Obama said. “But the Cadillac that I drive in is made right here. I got to admit the Secret Service soups it up a little bit.”