By Brian Williams, Anchor and managing editor
The Globe and Mail in Canada has been live blogging the president's visit this afternoon -- and at one point reported, as did the CBC on television, that they had seen "Barack Obama's double...a mannequin version of the President, riding in the back..." of the second of the two limousines, often called the "decoy" limousine. As the Globe and Mail put it, "the dummy is obviously an effort by the president's security detail to throw off those who might try and do him harm." But reporter Bill Curry went on to point out, "the fake Obama appeared to be lying back catching a snooze. Surely those posing the mannequin would know a President shouldn't be caught sleeping during his first trip abroad?"
So I did some checking. A source connected to the U.S. Secret Service has put the matter to rest, so to speak...and they blame the confusion on the speed and excitement of the motorcade and the thick green-tinted bullet-proof glass in the new limousines. "It's (personal aide to the president) Reggie Love," says the source...who went on to note Reggie works close to 24-hours a day, and might have seen the ride in the second limo as his only opportunity during a long travel day...to relax for just a moment. It all makes sense -- staff members ride with the president on trips where the seats aren't taken by dignitaries (or when the president just wishes to be alone). The only part of it that doesn't make sense? I've never seen Reggie NOT working. I'm willing to bet a substantial sum that he was using both his phone and laptop...and maybe his blackberry.
Glad that's settled. We hope you can join us for tonight's broadcast.