This Week In Pool Reports

POTUS gets a boater-cade, we get the set up for the big Condi date, and the secret Iraq trip was so super secret, the pooler didn’t even sign the report of how it all went down.

  • “Shortly before 6, POTUS, accompanied by a flotilla of police boats and police officers on jetskis, (a boater-cade, some of our photogs called it) traveled by boat from Man O’ War Wharf, near the opera house, across the harbor to the Admiralty House dock.” — Sheryl Stolberg, New York Times

  • “The pool then walked a stone pathway next door to Kirribilli House, a sandstone tudor-style home with green shutters that looked to your pooler like something out of the Hansel and Gretel fairy tale. The PM waited expectantly in the doorway. Fruit bats swooped overhead. It was cold. A bevy of officials, including the Australian defense minister, began arriving and then, at long last, POTUS. The PM and his wife, Janette, happily greeted POTUS, who made some remarks about being eager to see pictures of their new grandchild. Then Condi arrived, and she greeted the PM and Janette, and the four posed for more pictures, with Condi to POTUS’ left. POTUS looked at the cameras a little sheepishly, and reached out his left hand to touch Condi’s arm. “She can be my date,” he said.” — Stolberg

  • The boat cast off at noon, with six navy speed boats and several navy jetskiers swarming around it and a helicopter overhead. POTUS spent most of the journey outside on the upper deck, enjoying the spectacular harbour views in a cool early spring breeze. Your pool followed close behind in a somewhat less luxurious wooden tour boat. At one stage POTUS, Howard and Rice could be seen alone on the deck. Howard appeared to be acting as tour guide, pointing at landmarks with an outstretched arm.” — Andrew Ward, Financial Times

  • “We were told to report for their pool duty not Monday morning, as had been publicly announced, but Sunday between 6:00 and 6:30 p.m. Reporters were given maps of Andrews with our rallying point highlighted. We were told to come in through the main gate, not the usual Virginia Gate entrance. We also were told to tell only one editor at our respective news organizations, and not to do so by cell phone. Also, that editor had to be asked to not tell anyone. In addition, we were told that we could tell spouses about the impending trip, but no one else.” — Mike Fletcher, Washington Post

  • “A manifest with the names of those on the trip was with a security aide at the gate, and reporters and staff drove their cars to a parking lot adjacent to some tennis courts on the base, not far from the usual press lot at the air terminal. There, Secret Service swept everything we carried and held on to our luggage, computers and other electronic devices.” — Fletcher

  • “We then boarded two passenger vans and were driven to the spotless hangar that houses the two planes that usually serve as Air Force One. The steps were down on one of the planes and we got on board in time to see our bags and other belongings coming up the conveyor belt onto the plane. The shades were drawn on the plane’s windows in the press compartment and we sat and waited until we felt the plane being pushed back at 7:47 p.m., about an hour after we had boarded. By 8:05 p.m., we were wheels up.” — Fletcher