I’ll never forget trecking out to the old RAAF base in Canberra to watch Airforce One deliver George W Bush to Canberra the first time he visited Australia. What happened that day was a priceless illustration of what’s great about Australia’s political system.
There are actually two identical planes that travel together, one kitted out with a five-star interior to carry the President and his entourage, and one with a more standard fit-out to carry the hundreds of staff that travel with him. As the President’s plane pulled up to the red carpet John and Janette Howard boarded to welcome the President and his wife, before the four of them waved to the (non existant) crowds and came down the stairs together.
The Bushes then stepped staight into the stretch limo, which was part of a motorcade totalling approximately 42 vehicles (outriders included), and shot off across the closed runway of Canberra airport to drive to the US Embassy traffic light-free.
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