Evacuate everyone - EXCEPT Bush?

Apparently today a bomb sniffing dog signaled that a car parked near the West Wing of the WH was ‘suspicious’ (turned out it had a can of gasoline in the trunk). The on-going press conference was interupted, and staff, news folks etc were ordered to evacuate the building.

But Bush and Chaney were ** not** evacuated.

Now, I’ve seen both Air Force One * and * In the Line of Fire **several ** times, so I ‘know’ *** that in any possability of trouble, the SS agents hustle the important folks out first before anything else.

Does anyone know why the Pres/VP wouldn’t have been evacuated first? Posted here 'cause I am really looking for a rationale - not speculative, partisanly sarcastic guesses (I can come up with plenty of those on my own)

***[sub] for those whose sarcasm meter is on the fritz, yes, I know these are works of fiction and that normally specific procedures for guarding POTUS are not routinely divulged.[/sub]

The words that were used were “never left the White House”. They were probably in a safe area.

From an AP report:

“Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said offices on the north side of the White House, the side closest to the vehicle, were evacuated. The Oval Office faces south; Cheney’s office is in the middle of the West Wing.”

So evidently, the Secret Service didn’t feel that there was enough space in the vehicle for a bomb to significantly damage the building, and only evacuated the offices on the immediate opposite side of the wall the car was parked by.

Well here in sunny London, when someone try’s to blow up the Prime Minister while he / she’s in residence at Downing Street they have a ‘secure’ room down in the basement – presumably it’s also an access point to a labyrinth of interconnected tunnels and rooms (errr, not the Tube).

I’d imagine – actually did imagine when I first saw the (then) new DC subway system – that there’s an awful lot of DC below ground and not in the knowledge of the general public. One can understand the visual appeal Hollywood directors have for the image of a fleeing Presidents but it would seem to make more sense to go to ground and into secure and planned options.

It also reads better: the Captain stayed at the wheel, man of fortitude, etc…

Personally, I think the press conference was taking a bad turn so they cleared out the media. :wink:

London_Calling is right. Washington, DC is a rabbit warren of tunnels, underground offices, and subway lines, many of them connected. Just today I was riding on the ultra-flash Senate subway line, which is driverless and makes these really cool Logan’s Run-esque noises. (The House subway is pretty ghetto by comparison.)

I know that the House offices connect to the House side of the Capitol; likewise the Senate. Furthermore, I’m pretty certain that I accidentally made my way from the Library of Congress to the House tunnels one time before a guard sent me back on my way. At least three of the Library of Congress buildings are connected by tunnel. I’ve heard lots of stories about a third subway line which is not open to the public and which connects the Senate with Union Station and the White House–well over a mile long and purportedly running the length of Pennsylvania Ave. The White House in turn connects by tunnel with the Old Executive Building and possibly the New Executive Building on the west side, as well as the Treasury on the east side. The White House itself is supposedly pretty well reinforced against massive explosions.

I guess what I’m trying to say is if some Ambassador loaded up the trunk of his limo with C4 and touched it off in the driveway of the White House, the President is not only unlikely to be injured, but he might very well be able to pop up in front of Congress asking for a declaration of war fifteen minutes later without ever stepping outside.