The bus carrying the White House press corps following President Obama on his 16-day Hawaiian vacation broke down, freeing the POTUS motorcade to scoot away from the prying eyes of the newshounds toward a destination where Obama could not be followed.
But was the breakdown a handy opportunity for the president to escape?
"The White House press corps has a long-standing rule: always have eyes on the President of the United States (POTUS) when he is in public," The Washington Post reported
However, on Tuesday, as the president and his daughter Malia and friends were returning from a hike at the Makapu'u Point Lighthouse trail, the press bus occupants suddenly found themselves stranded along Hawaii's scenic Kalanianaole Highway when a wheel came off the bus, the Post reports.
Los Angeles Times reporter Mike Memoli tweeted: "Just filed pool report: van carrying press pool appeared to blow a tire, we're separated from POTUS and his motorcade," Politico reported
"The tire in question was one of two on the rear driver’s side. It is not flat so much as partially dislodged," Memoli tweeted
, complete with a photo of the bus and its disconnected wheel.
Fifteen minutes later, Obama's staff reported that the president had returned to the Kailua property the First Family is renting "with no additional stops en route," the Post reported. About an hour later, the press corps got another bus and were back on the job.
This is Obama's sixth family vacation in Hawaii where he grew up since he has been in office. He spent most of his time bicycling, hitting the gym, sunning on the beach and, of course, golfing, the Post noted.
A Post reporter wrote: "Turns out, as the reporters soon learned when they went to inspect the damage, the tire wasn't flat. Just dangerously off its axle.
"About 15 minutes later, with the press still stranded on the side of the road, Obama reportedly made it home safe and sound, according to the White House."
The Post commented: "One wonders, though, if the president, suddenly free from his nemeses might have secretly wandered off."
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