David Frum: “I have an uneasy feeling that the conservative press may have overhyped this story about Nancy Pelosi’s airplane request.”
Is that the case? ABC’s Jake Tapper has the most comprehensive run-down of the story I’ve read so far (although credit goes to the Washington Times for breaking the story). Here’s Tapper’s bottom line:
There are four types of planes available at the 89th Airlift wing, at nearby Andrews Air Force Base — the C-20 Hastert once used, C-21s which are even smaller than the C-20 and thus not able to fly nonstop to San Francisco, and the fabled C-32.
There is also the C-37A — a military version of the Gulf Stream 5, which is about the same size as the C-20, but is able to fly nonstop to California. One military source who asked not to be identified says that it may be that Pelosi and her aides were shown a C-37A and didn’t understand that it was different and more potent than a C-20, since they look so similar.
Would Pelosi be willing to use a smaller plane than the lavish C-32 as long as it could fly coast to coast?
“Yes,” said a Pelosi aide.
So the question becomes: Did Pelosi know that the smaller C-37A was just as capable of flying non-stop to California as the lavish C-32, yet request the more expensive C-32 anyway?