Change begins at home, the phrase goes. Since President Bush has implored all Americans to conserve energy, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan made sure that reporters knew that, “Hey, we’re not above the law…most of the time!” and detailed White House efforts to lower 1600 Pennsylvania’s Avenue electricity bill.
“We’ll also be sending out notices to staff about — reminding them to turn off lights and printers and copiers and computers when they leave the office. We’ll continue to move forward on more e-government, paperless systems that would reduce the use of faxes and copiers and printers and things of that nature, encouraging all government vehicles to try to consume less.”
McClellan went on to talk about promoting mass transit options, not letting cars idle, yada, yada, yada, then dropped this bomb:
“And other areas — the President did want everybody to look at the motorcade, too, to see what could be scaled back there, as well. So I think today we probably have a couple less vans than we normally would.”
As Editor and Publisher wrote:
Alarmed, a reporter asked, “Press vans? The press vans will be there?”
“I think probably — I think there is usually like four press vans,” McClellan replied. “I think we’re trying to do it in two or three — staff and the guest van is combined. I think we can — all steps that people can take will help, and that’s why we look at all these measures.”
So if you see David Gregory, Dana Bash, Carl Cameron, Ed Chen and Elisabeth Bumiller packed into a ZipCar, driving around town, with Gregory screaming out the passenger side window, “Dammit, Ed! Follow that motorcade!” you’ll understand why.