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Not even President Obama can speed through L.A. traffic jams [updated]

October 25, 2011 |  2:48 pm

President Obama appears at The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
President Obama got a taste of L.A. traffic Tuesday morning when his motorcade slowed to a crawl as he headed to NBC's Burbank studios to tape an interview with Jay Leno on "The Tonight Show."

CBS News' Mark Knoller, a reporter who was along for the ride, caught a picture of the traffic jam and posted it to Twitter.

"Highway 101 likely excluded from infrastructure subsidies for slowing down pres motorcade," Knoller quipped.

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[Updated 3:45 p.m. Edwin Donovan, a spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service, said the service had originally planned to take Obama to NBC studios by helicopter, but that plan was changed last-minute due to weather.

“With rush hour traffic considerations, that sort of thing, we try to leave the route open as much as possible,” Donovan said. “There were times that we slowed down to a point that we normally don’t, but it was due to the weather and a last-minute change from a helicopter movement to a motorcade.”

The motorcade hit traffic just past the Ventura Boulevard exit on the 101 Freeway, according to a pool report.

"It appeared to pool that highway wasn't shut down and motorcade flanked by CA highway patrol on motorcycles crept slowly," the pool report said. "At one point … the motorcade crept along in the two left lanes of the highway while public traffic continued in the far right lane."

Still, the jam set Obama back only about 10 minutes.

This is not the first time Obama's vast train of protective vehicles has been stuck on an L.A. freeway before a taping with Leno. The same thing happened in March 2009.

And it apparently also happened to President George W. Bush.

"Same thing happened to Bush in LA. Motorcade," Ari Fleischer, who was White House press secretary under Bush, wrote in a tweet response to Knoller. "Slowed to 20 mph bcause we were about to catch up to traffic."


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-- Kim Geiger in Washington, D.C.