Tales from the Trail

Washington blizzard finally gets respect from ‘flinty’ Obama

February 5, 2010

President Barack Obama, who famously chided Washington for not being “flinty” enough in dealing with snow compared with his hometown Chicago, isn’t scoffing any more as a winter storm threatens to dump up to 30 inches on the U.S. capital this weekend.

WEATHER-USA/SNOW“I think even a transplanted Hawaiian to Chicago has sufficient respect for a forecast of nearly two feet of snow,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters as snowflakes fluttered against the window of his West Wing office.

Midwesterners like Obama like to brag how tough they are in winter weather compared with their East Coast brethren. That said, Gibbs noted the president was not going to have to shovel the White House’s many paths, although he allowed that the Obama daughters Sasha and Malia  might well play in the drifts or get out the First Family’s sled.

Washingtonians, whose city is far enough south to rarely face this sort of severe winter weather, do not deal well with snow. Schools shut after only a smattering of snow gathers on the ground – which was the basis for Obama’s original complaint – and traffic descends quickly into chaos.

“Being from Alabama, I am happy to inform you I will be getting off the road and watching you all try to drive,” Gibbs said.

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Photo credit:  Reuters/Molly Riley

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