Thursday, February 8, 2007

Pelosi's air travel - much ado about nothing?

Hat-tip to the Croydonian for this story about Nancy Pelosi. As second-in-line to the presidency, she is entitled to military transportation after the 9-11 scare. Her office requested clarification of the rules about aircraft to transport her from LA to Congress.

This has led to accusations that she wants to travel by what has been described as a "luxury" C-40 jet to avoid the risk of refueling. In fact, reading the LA Times report, she doesn't seem to have done much to prompt these accusations:

The House sergeant at arms originally advised Pelosi that Hastert (her predecessor) had used a military plane and recommended that she use one that didn't need to refuel. That prompted her office to request clarification of the rules, Daly said, noting that she never actually requested a specific plane.

It appears to be a lot of fuss about nothing:

So far, Pelosi hasn't used one of the big jets that has caused all the fuss. In her single trip home as speaker since being sworn in Jan. 4, she flew commercial to San Francisco and took a military 12-seater back to Washington. With the benefit of tailwinds, it made it without refueling.

The Croydonian makes a lot of fuss about the fact that "she tried to get a military plane to fly her from DC to Williamsburg, Virginia - about the same distance as London to Cardiff...."

But the LA Times says:

Pelosi asked to use a military plane to go to a recent retreat of House Democrats in Williamsburg, Va., less than a three-hour drive from the capital. The request was denied and Pelosi took the train.

Fine. Problem?

She has also asked for clarification about the rules for members of her family flying with her (Hastert used to have his wife flying with him). And?

Strategist Anita Dunn seems to have it about right:
"This is the smash-mouth politics of Washington — how can we make something that is fairly routine sound as bad as possible," strategist Dunn said.


  1. Paul - is Croydonian really a collector of Clarice Cliffe? :)

  2. Sorry about that. Thanks for pointing it out. Now corrected. It's what comes of running several sessions at once and obeying one's wife's commands to find out what make of pottery her Dad has got while trying to blog....