Image: President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and others board Marine One.
Lawrence Jackson  /  AP
For the first time since Obama took office, members of the public were on-hand for the departure — a practice in keeping with past presidential sendoffs.
updated 2/19/2009 2:49:11 PM ET 2009-02-19T19:49:11

Each president seems to have a distinct, though subtle, style for those much-photographed White House departures. And Barack Obama is no exception.

George W. Bush walked with a manifestly brisk stride whenever he got on Marine One for the short helicopter ride to nearby Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. So, too, does Obama. But the new president at times also projects a less-formal image.

Obama smiled and waved as he walked across crossed the South Lawn under a light rain Thursday morning for his trip to Canada. He wore no raincoat despite the conditions.

For the first time since Obama took office, members of the public were on-hand for the departure — a practice in keeping with past presidential sendoffs. Some 75 people who were taking a White House tour were randomly selected to watch it, and the White House plans to continue this practice for future departures.

Marine One landed at Andrews a few minutes later in pouring rain. The president walked briskly from the helicopter, still disdaining an umbrella. His walk turned into a jog as he made his way up the steps of Air Force One for the flight to Ottawa.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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