The panic in Manhattan yesterday was palpable... and utterly preventable:
It wasn't an attack, or even a drill -- it was a government-sponsored photo op.
The Pentagon did tell local authorities about the startling fly-over that sent a Boeing 747 and a F-16 fighter screaming over New York's scarred skyline, but officials said they couldn't share the information with the public. They couldn't even share the information with the mayor...
...An official from the Obama administration said the White House Military Office wanted to update its file photo of the president's plane near the Statue of Liberty.
My Twitter feed caught wind of several additional Obama administration photo opportunities that were hastily canceled:
* An unannounced overflight of Pearl Harbor by 200 or so unmarked fighter/bombers (source):
* To mark 100 days in office, the White House planned to send unmarked packages of talcum powder to all members of Congress (source):
* A photo op with a rental truck in Oklahoma City (source):
* An unannounced nuclear test off the coast of New York harbor (source):
* The White House had also planned on flooding New Orleans for a picture of the President crossing Canal Street (source):
That's why some commentators -- far less kind-hearted than me -- refer to Obama as "President Training Wheels".
Updates: Jammie asks, "Who was on board?" Amanda Carpenter: "What was the carbon footprint for flying Air Force 1 around for publicity shots?"; Joseph_Gilbert: "CNN reports the cost of the Air Force One photo-op: $328,835". I think a copy of Photoshop can be had for less than $1,000.
Linked by: TigerHawk. Thanks!