Barack Obama’s armored limo broke down on the way to Tel Aviv airport as the US president is making a historic visit to Israel.
The custom General Motors Cadillac limo was relegated to a pick up truck after the driver accidentally put gas in the engine instead of diesel.
President Barack Obama arrived in Tel Aviv Wednesday afternoon local time, and earlier that morning, the limo that was designated to his hotel was unable to move after the driver made the silly mistake.
Local news reports allege that it was the President’s limo that was shipped over specially from Washington that broke down so he was forced to use the second vehicle that they brought over from the U.S.
The limo was pictured by local station 24 Hour News when it was on the back of a flatbed truck.
Since the car was not able to take him from the airport, thankfully the president was always scheduled to leave the airport via helicopter in order to avoid passing through the Palestinian checkpoints that interrupt the route from Ben Gurion Airport to Jerusalem.
The US Secret Service put out a statement about the incident, saying that it was a situation where it pays for them to be prepared.
“One of our protective vehicles experienced mechanical problems in Israel earlier today. This is why we bring multiple vehicles and a mechanic on all trips,” said Edwin Donovan, a spokesman for the Secret Service.
“Situations like this are planned for extensively by our advance teams so that the President’s itinerary is unaffected by these types of issues.”
They did not confirm that whether or not the driver used gas or diesel, and if that was the cause of the malfunction.
Barack Obama’s first stop was to Israeli President Shimon Peres’ house, and after planting a ceremonial tree and giving brief scripted remarks, he drove off in an armored limo.
Given the Secret Service statement, it appears that the President drove off in the second limo while the American technician worked on the first.
President Barack Obama started off the trip by apologizing to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as he was overheard saying: “It’s embarrassing, our entourage. My wife, Michelle, teases me mercilessly.”
The US president isn’t kidding about the fact that he travels with a crew: the Israeli government issued a press kit that reports Barack Obama has a 600-person entourage, and they will occupy all 233 rooms in the King David Hotel during their stay.
By comparison, Madonna has a 200-person entourage when she tours, meaning that the President has a crew three-times the size of the best-known Material Girl.
Barack Obama must enjoy hanging out with a familiar group, as he reportedly agreed to do a cameo in the upcoming movie version of the show Entourage.