Presidential travel back in Nixon’s day compared to Obama’s travel plans today

Here’s a different kind of travel article where they talk to Ron Walker, a former Nixon aid who was in charge of Richard Nixon’s travel plans. Apparently, things are much more complicated with Obama’s plans today:

Walker says he had five people in his office, compared to the 25 to 30 in President Obama’s Office of Presidential Advance. Walker says technology’s grown dramatically, too.

“I mean, we did schedules on a manual and/or electrical typewriter,” Walker says. “There were no Xeroxes. We had a TWX, which was similar to a telegraph. All our schedules had to be typed on an electrical typewriter and then the schedule was put on 3-by-5 cards.”

“And now you’ve got Blackberries. I mean, you get instant answers,” Walker says as he thinks about what he had to go through in the 1970s. “I’d have to write a memo. It would go up the channel. And it may be two or three days before I get an answer. Now they put it on their Blackberry and they’ve got an answer almost immediately. So the world has changed, not only technology, but the speed of sound.”

It’s hard to believe they did it with 5 people back in the day. Sometimes I feel like I could use 5 people just for my own travel planning needs!

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  1. Jason says:

    So what does all of the technology provide then? Note: I am a blackberry user, in the technology sector and am typically on the cutting edge of technology, but articles like this make me question it….

  2. Alex Garey says:

    With all of the advanced technology, why do they need more people in the office now, as opposed to 1970? Our taxpayer dollars at work!

  3. Sharon says:

    A staff of 25-30 to make travel arrangements is just another example of wasteful government spending and obvious inefficiency.

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