The wintry weather Wednesday night grounded Marine One, the helicopter that typically transports Obama to and from the military base where Air Force One lands.
Instead, Obama was met at the plane by his motorcade, which spent an hour weaving through rush hour traffic already slowed by the storm. The trip normally takes the motorcade about 20 minutes.
Law enforcement officers often close off roads where the president may be traveling, but the roads were not cleared for his motorcade Wednesday. Doubtful D.C.'s achieved that "flinty Chicago toughness" in the president's eyes, yet.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Secret Service did not want to divert resources handling the storm in other parts of the Washington area.