U.S. officials may have set low expectations for President Barack Obama’s journey to Israel, but even the lowest expectations would not have predicted the president's vehicle malfunctioning.
As reported by CNN, the official presidential limousine -- nicknamed “The Beast” because of its extensive features and defense systems -- broke down Wednesday after its driver reportedly fueled the vehicle with gasoline rather than diesel fuel.
The limo was towed around 10 a.m. Jerusalem time. The president -- who arrived in Tel Aviv around noon before being flown by helicopter to Jerusalem -- was not present when the vehicle was being towed.
(Scroll down to see a photo of the limo being towed, courtesy of News 24.)
"We experienced mechanical trouble with one of the cars," said Edwin Donovan, a spokesman for the Secret Service, according to pool reports. "We don't know the cause."
Donovan said the Secret Service "did not have a read on what the specific issue is at this point."
The Jewish Press reports that a replacement limo was flown in by helicopter from Jordan, where it had been stationed for the president's visit there this week.
"That's why we bring different multiple vehicles," Mr. Donovan said of the first limo's mechanical difficulties.
This isn’t the first time Obama’s limo has malfunctioned. In a 2011 trip to Ireland, The Beast suffered a roadside breakdown after getting stuck on a ramp outside of the U.S. embassy in Dublin.
The Beast’s most recent difficulty is a reminder that no matter how high-tech or advanced your ride may be (among many features, the president’s limo includes its own oxygen supply, night-vision camera and tear gas cannons, according to the New York Daily News), we’re all susceptible to basic car troubles.
Below, a photo of the broken-down presidential limo from News 24:
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