I’M SUPER PROUD TO BE KENYAN AS I COUNT DOWN THE HOURS TO PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA’S VISIT
The most powerful president in the whole world will be visiting Kenya today, Friday the 24th. The time is now 12 a.m, July 2015. It’s roughy 18 hours to Uncle Barry’s arrival via the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
As we Kenyans wait impatiently let me give you a short Obama 101 lecture.
Barack Hussein Obama II (born on August 4th, 1961) is the 44th and current President of the United States , and the first African American to hold the office. Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Obama is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he served as president of the Harvard Law Review. He was a community organizer in Chicago before earning his law degree. He worked as a civil rights attorney and taught constitutional law at University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. He served three terms representing the 13th District in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004, running unsuccessfully for the United States House of Representatives in 2000.
There is no car like the president’s armored limo — aka ‘The Beast’. Designed from the ground up by the Secret Service, President Barack Obama’s $1.5 million “Cadillac One,” aka “The Beast,” is a moving fortress impenetrable by bullets and bombs. The president has 12 identical limos in rotation and, when not in use, they’re parked in the basement of the Secret Service’s headquarters and are under 24-hour surveillance. At least two cars travel with the president wherever he goes, and they get a humble 3.7 miles to the gallon. The president’s motorcade is surrounded with up to 45 other armed vehicles, including an identical decoy, local police, a mobile communications center, more armed vehicles, and an ambulance. The cars are manufactured by General Motors in Detroit and have a gasoline V8 engine. The top speed and weight of each car is classified, as is the bulletproof technology used in the windows.
Here are 20 things you didn’t know about Obama’s Cadillac One;
1 – Power comes from a 6.5-litre diesel engine that’s fitted with a supercharger to help haul this beast around. Yet despite this mammoth power plant, the top speed is only 60mph and it takes around 15 seconds to reach this.
2 – It is based on a GM truck chassis and weighs a staggering 6,350kg. To put that in context, the Rolls-Royce Phantom, one of the biggest cars on the road, weighs a paltry 2,550kg in comparison. This will be why the Obamobile only averages 8mpg.
3 – A lot of the weight comes from the Armour protection. The body is made up of steel, aluminum, titanium and ceramic.
4 – The glass is five-inches thick and only the windscreen opens, to allow the driver to talk to secret service running alongside or to pay a toll. It is also hermetically sealed to secure it from chemical attack.
5 – Should the worst happen, The Beast has its own oxygen supply.
6 – The military-grade Armour means the doors are eight-inches thick and weigh as much as a Boeing 747’s.
7 – The doors are so thick that Obama can’t hear any outside noise, so speakers are built in to play the ambient sound of the crowd.
8 – The underside is reinforced with a Kevlar mat to protect Caddy One from bomb attacks.
9 – The fuel tank is leak proof and filled with special foam that prevents it from exploding, even in a direct hit.
10 – There are two holes in the front bumper that can emit tear gas and fire smoke grenades.
11 – There is also an infrared video system for the driver to drive through smoke and night vision cameras for driving in darkness without lights.
12 – Cadillac One normally flies two flags, the American flag and the Presidential Standard, which are lit up at night with LEDs. When Obama is on a state visit, the Presidential Standard is replaced by the flag of the country he is visiting.
13 – The Beast has a firefighting system located in the boot.
14 – Also in the boot is a bank of the president’s blood that iscarried at all times and when he goes out an ambulance always follows close behind.
15 – Obama gets a presidential limo built to this specification every four years and the old ones are handed down to vice presidents and visiting heads of state.
16 – The Obamobile can seat seven, with two seats up front, three rear-facing ones in the middle, and two at the very back, one for the president and the other for a guest.
17 – Inside, Obama isn’t deprived of his creature comforts; a 10-disc CD player is among the features, as well as sophisticated electronic communications with direct phones to the White House and internal Internet.
18 – Defence systems include a pump-action shotgun in a compartment beside the driver.
19 – The tyres are reinforced with Kevlar and can run when flat. If the tyres are missing, the steel rims have been designed to allow the car to keep on driving at Speed.
20 – Unlike previous presidential cars, Caddy One has no specific model name.Follow @ManuMuema