WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s armored limousine, “The Beast,” is getting an upgrade just in time for the president’s second inaugural.
A White House spokesman confirmed Tuesday that the limo will bear Washington, D.C. “Taxation Without Representation” plates starting this weekend.
President Bill Clinton placed the slogan on his limo’s license plates when the District of Columbia introduced the protest plates in 2000, though they were later removed by President George W. Bush.
“President Obama has lived in the District now for four years, and has seen first-hand how patently unfair it is for working families in D.C. to work hard, raise children and pay taxes, without having a vote in Congress,” said spokesman Keith Maley. “Attaching these plates to the presidential vehicles demonstrates the President’s commitment to the principle of full representation for the people of the District of Columbia and his willingness to fight for voting rights, Home Rule and budget autonomy for the District.”
In 2009, then-Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Obama was supportive of legislation granting the district statehood when explaining why Obama wasn’t rushing to reinstall the “Taxation Without Representation” plates.
“Giving it voting rights, giving it statehood,” Gibbs replied when asked what he meant by saying Obama supported a change of status.
“I think rather than change the logo around the license plate, the president is committed instead to changing the status of the District of Columbia. I guess I would ask you to ask people in Washington whether they’d like to have that status changed, or that symbolism screwed onto the back of a limousine?”
The plates will remain on the limousine through the president’s second term.
This post has been updated with Gibbs’ 2009 comments.