Monday, September 12, 2011

Golf Carts

Golf Cart One - the President's golf cart at Camp David

At a ceremony honoring NASCAR drivers, President Obama said  "I'm not allowed to drive much these days. Basically just my golf cart at Camp David -- which is called Golf Cart One."  President George W. Bush was the first president to name the presidential electric golf cart "Golf Cart One".

The golf carts at Camp David provide a fun and convenient way of getting around the sprawling presidential retreat. There are usually golf carts nearby the helicopter landing area for dignitaries to use to get to their cabins upon arrival.  President Nixon had the gravel paths around the camp paved over so he could use the golf carts to get around.

Mrs. Carter and Mrs. Begin ride around Camp David during the Middle East summit there in 1978

President Carter and President Sadat at Camp David in 1978
                   Walter Mondale and Cyrus Vance                                 Zbigniew Brzezinski and Cyrus Vance - September 1978

In his memoir, Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote that his daughter Mika, and Amy Carter "narrowily escaped ramming into Prime Minister Begin while out driving. Only the quick action of Amy's Secret Service guard saved the Prime Minister from injury and the Carter and Brzezinski families from embarrassment."

Although Newsmax describes the Mika incident:  "As a kid tooling around Camp David in a golf cart, she once drove smack into Menachem Begin’s shins."

President Reagan and Nancy Reagan in their golf cart at Camp David in 1981

President Reagan and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher riding golf carts at Camp David in 1984

The photo above shows President Reagan picking up Prime Minister Thatcher after her arrival at Camp David. Check out the video of him described as "President Reagan erratically drives golf buggy" shot in 1986 for her return visit.

President Bush prepares to jog with George Strait - January 1993

President Bush reacts to Mikhail Gorbachev's driving skills in 1990 

President Bush and South Korean President Lee ride Golf Cart One at Camp David - April 2008

First Lady Laura Bush holds on as President George W. Bush gives Afghan President Hamid Karzai a ride in August 2007

G8 leaders Angela Merkel and Barroso ride in golf carts at Camp David G8 Summit
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso board their golf carts after arriving at Camp David for the G8 Summit in May 2012

President Obama outside Aspen Lodge at Camp David - with golf carts
Golf carts lined up outside the Aspen Lodge following President Obama's closing remarks at the G8 Summit

Sources: The White House; USA Today; New York Magazine; The Reagans: Portrait of a Marriage;  Jimmy Carter Library;; Newsmax; AP; Ronald Reagan Presidential Library; George Bush Presidential Library; UPI; Getty; European Commission