Obama v Bush: A tale of two state visits

From the archives:


Obama v Bush

Obama‘s entourage was believed to consist of about 500 people – including 200 secret service agents. The Obamas, whose US security codenames are Renegade andRenaissance, were also reportedly joined by a team of medics, chefs and White House staff. The Bushes, whose alternate US identities were Trailblazer andTempo, were thought to have had an entourage of about 700. As well as secret service agents, national security advisers and government officials, there were also 15 sniffer dogs and five cooks on hand.


Obama's bomb-proof Cadillac is known as "the Beast"  

Obama‘s bomb-proof Cadillac is known as The Beast.

Bush's armoured Cadillac de Ville  

Bush‘s Cadillac de Ville was sometimes called the Stagecoach.

Police security

The Metropolitan Police Service said the policing operation for the entire duration of the state visit involved 5,000 officer shifts. The full cost of policing Obama’s visit won’t be confirmed until later this year, but it’s expected to fall well short of the cost of the state visit by Pope Benedict – £6.9m. Bush‘s state visit to London cost police more than £4.1m, according to the former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens. All police leave was cancelled during the visit and the salaries for officers’ shifts cost about £2.5m, while overtime, transport and catering came to more than £1.6m.


A Woman protests before U.S. President Barack Obama arrives to visit Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron in London 

A small group of radical Muslims gathered outside Downing Street to protest against the visit. Next to the anti-Obama protest, a few members of the right-wing English Defence League staged a counter-demonstration, with police separating the two sides when they threatened to come to blows.

Effigy of Mr Bush 

Tens of thousands of people marched against the Iraq war, which climaxed with the toppling of an 25ft effigy of Mr Bush, in a symbolic echo of the destruction of Saddam’s statue in Baghdad. One protester also delivered a parting shot by throwing an egg at the presidential cavalcade, but the egg missed.

Categories: United States

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