WH Pool Report: Guests on AF1

In this White House pool report, we learn that Air Force One carried one "Flat Stanley" to Florida. We understand he was an early subject of the CIA's rendering program.

Also, Mrs. Bush gets a big hug.

Report after the jump.


Sent: Fri Mar 18 09:42:06 2005

Subject: POOL REPORT #1, 3/18/05

Andrews Air Force Base to Pensacola, Fla.

Marine One landed at Andrews AFB at 7:10 a.m. eastern time, and we were wheels up at 7:24. Scott McClellan gaggled on board Air Force One, with a special guest appearance by Flat Stanley, who made the trip at the request of Mr. McClellan's 9-year-old niece. Mr. Stanley did not ask any questions, but had his picture taken by Josh Deckard. Transcript will come, but some highlights from gaggle:

Today's Social Security events will be attended by the president's mother, Barbara Bush, who will help make the case to senior citizens that Social Security needs to be fixed but that seniors won't see their benefits cut. Also traveling with the president today are Senator Mel Martinez of Florida and five members of Florida's House delegation. McClellan spoke of the possibility of "progressive indexing" of Social Security benefits, and ``the dynamic is changing" of the Social Security debate as people realize that the financing must be dealt with.

He also addressed the congressional action surrounding the Schiavo case, mainly reiterating what was in yesterday's statement, and the baseball hearings, saying that the president doesn't see a need for federal intervention on steroids policies in Major League Baseball at this time. In addition, McClellan announced that the Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of Israel will be coming to the ranch in Crawford on April 11. On the Hillman front, McClellan said that after Wednesday's visit by the Canadian and Mexican leaders, the rest of Easter week will be light on public events.

Landed at 8:15 a.m. central time. Mrs. Bush joined son Jeb Bush, the governor of Florida, at the head of the receiving line, and the president gave his mom a big hug and kiss and had a sturdy handshake for his brother. Rolling to event at 8:30 a.m. Barrancas Avenue had a good number of people out, mostly pro-Bush with American flags and friendly waves.

Rick Klein

The Boston Globe


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