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Nuts and Bolts: Obama's Flight to D.C.

By Ed O'Keefe



President-Elect Barack Obama flew from Chicago to Washington, D.C. on Monday aboard an American Airlines jet. (Stan Honda -- AFP/Getty Images)

A new presidential administration invokes plenty of great traditions and events, including the activity surrounding a transition and inauguration. Then there are all the other routine Washington occurrences, such as the State of the Union, confirmation hearings and the budget process.

While other Post colleagues handle the hard news from those big events, The Eye will train his sights on the federal offices and employees that help put them together for a series of reports we’ll call… “The Nuts and Bolts.”

For example, you may have noticed on Monday that President-elect Obama flew from Chicago to Washington on an American Airlines jet, instead of his old campaign plane or an Air Force jet that might normally transport the president or vice president.

“Gone is the campaign plane that ferried Mr. Obama across the country -- and the world -- for months,” read Monday’s pool report of Obama’s travels from Chicago to Washington. “The temporary plane, for this ride at least, is a Boeing Super-80.”

The Obama transition office chartered the plane through the General Services Administration’s transportation programs office, concurrent with the details of the Presidential Transition Act of 1963. The GSA is responsible for providing office space, payroll and transportation, among other things, for the transition office. Requests for transportation of the president-elect or vice president-elect are made in writing to GSA, which sorts out the details and arrangements per written instructions provided.

The Obama-Biden transition office had no comment on the new transportation arrangement and how it compares to the plane formerly known as “O Force One” (the plane’s lease expired on Election Day, The Eye has learned).

So consider this report The Eye’s first look at the nuts and bolts of one element of the American governing process. We’ll continue to report on the offices and people that care for the nuts and bolts of government in the coming weeks. Leave your story suggestions in the comments section below or e-mail federaleye@washingtonpost.com.

By Ed O'Keefe  | November 14, 2008; 10:45 AM ET
Categories:  Nuts and Bolts  
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