Obama tours Air Force One

From the Washington Post:

By Garance Franke-Ruta
Now making the rounds comes this segment from a forthcoming National Geographic TV series “On Board Air Force One,” set to begin airing on Jan. 25, in which then-President-elect Barack Obama on Jan. 4 boards one of the planes that will serve as Air Force One once he is sworn in as president.

The episode shows Obama greeting Col. Scott Turner of the Air Force at the start of his “first official flight as the new pilot,” according to the narrator, who also notes that Air Force One gets new pilots when presidents change. The trip took Obama to the District from Chicago.

“Good to see you. You’re the pilot of Air Force One?” Obama greets him.

“Yes sir, it will be my privilege to serve you,” says Turner.

“You know, I’ve got to say, you’re out of central casting. You’re exactly what I want the pilot of Air Force One to look like. You look like you know how to fly. You look like Sam Shepard in The Right, ‘The Right Stuff’,” Obama says.

Technically speaking, both National Geographic and Obama play loose with presidential terminology on the show. Air Force One is the moniker for any of the Boeing 747s that carry U.S. presidents. But since Obama had not been sworn in at the time of the flight, it was likely given a “special air mission” label for the occasion. Now that Obama is president, however, the term will apply to any of the Air Force jetliners he travels on.

The show jumps from his entry to Obama ordering his first meal on what will become one of his presidential planes. “I’ll see how you guys do a burger,” he tells chief flight attendant Reggie Dickson, ordering it cooked “medium-well,” with cheddar cheese, dijon mustard, lettuce and tomato. And he asks, “If you have, like, salad or some vegetables or something.” When the Dickson asks, “No fries or anything like that?” Obama replies, “Oh, I’ll still take the fries.”

“Yes, sir,” says Dickson, then laughs.


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