- By J. Dana StusterJ. Dana Stuster is an assistant editor at Foreign Policy. He has studied at the American University of Beirut and graduated in 2010 with degrees in English and International Relations from the University of California, Davis. Before coming to FP, his work appeared in the Atlantic and the National Interest, among other publications.
For a vehicle that goes by the fearsome name "The Beast," Barack Obama’s presidential limo has had its fair share of run-of-the-mill car trouble.
Today we learned that Obama is down a limousine for his trip to Israel after his armored Cadillac refused to start. The Beast runs on diesel, but whoever got the crummy job of having to fill up the tank for the president used gasoline instead — forcing the car to be towed away from a gas station in Jerusalem ahead of the president’s arrival. And yes, an eight-ton limousine does look strange on the back of a flatbed truck.
That weight — and the car’s low clearance — made for difficulties on another state visit, when the Beast got stuck on a ramp as it tried to leave the U.S. embassy in Dublin in 2011:
But fear not: Obama will continue to travel in style this week. A spare limousine, one of a fleet of as many as 25, has arrived, and just drove him away from the president’s residence in Jerusalem, where he planted a magnolia tree with Israeli President Shimon Peres.
Update, March 25: The Secret Service told FP that the limousine was not accidentally filled with gasolene instead of diesel, but that they have not yet brought the limousine back to the United States to determine the cause.
Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at email@example.com.
Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.
A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.
Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C.| The Cable |