Click her name to read her awesome review! Katy Evans manages each time to suck me into the story she writes. I loved Mr. President and now after finishing this conclusion of Matthew and Charlotte's story, I am so happy because of their sa 4 Happily Ever After Stars! President and now after finishing this conclusion of Matthew and Charlotte's story, I am so happy because of their satisfying ending. In this book, the hot and super swoon-worthy Matthew "Matt" Hamilton is already the President-elect of the United States. Charlotte flew to Europe to stay away from him and try to move on after he won the presidency.
But when she returned to witness his first day as a ruler in the States, she wasn't able to deny the fact that her feelings toward him still remain. And when their paths crossed once again, she did not expect him to pull such a shocking proposal to her-- to become his acting First Lady of the United States. I loved most parts in this book-- especially the scenes where Matt was trying to win Charlotte back and woo her. Despite his busy schedule, he was still able to make time for her, doing his best to make her feel that she's the most beautiful, most worthy First Lady in his heart.
The thing that has awed me most was the loyalty they had for each other. I loved how strong they were together and how tough they were despite some political issues that surround them. Over the course of Matt's presidency, I was afraid that he's going to be destructed while being in love with Charlotte but omg, I was so wrong. He is the man!
The best President ever. Maybe I was looking for a little bit more angst and depth that's why I rated it 4 out 5 but otherwise, I loved how the story turned out in the end. There was a resolution regarding the crime of Matt's father. The final chapters also brought me a whirlwind of emotions as well as the ending which just made me grin from ear to ear. Matt and Charlotte's love story, as a whole, was more than beautiful. They said their lives aren't fairytale. Um, I don't think so. There could never be any more perfect than their love for each other. I shed every preconceived notion of who I should be.
My last name, the presidency, everything is gone-- only I remain. A man, flesh and blood, not perfect, but trying his damn best to be, and a man who wants her. I loved the first book. And I loved the main characters. I still love them. I am absolutely sure a lot of people will enjoy this lengthy conclusion to the duet with the happiness overload.
This book read like an extended epilogue which lacked any sort of conflict or angst. For me, it was a snoozefest.
If you are a patient reader and don't mind lengthy descriptions of things like house decor and dinner appetizers then you should be able to enjoy this. I'm just one of those people who need suspense and anticipation to keep me in the book. Imagine someone telling you about how they went through delivering a baby. Okay, may be it will keep you entertained for 15 minutes.
But then they go on and tell you about other parts of their life like grocery shopping etc. That's what it felt like for me - the most exciting parts weren't even that exciting. I certainly don't discourage anyone from reading this, in fact, I thought the first book was excellent.
You might also enjoy the sex scenes in this second installment because they were very descriptive and many. I almost feel like this duet should have been a standalone, it would have been a solid 4 star read for me. To rate this second installment on its own is very hard, it's so dependent of a first book. Did I like it? The rest just didn't keep my attention.
View all 51 comments. Jan 01, Eve Between The Bookends rated it really liked it. Book two starts off two months after Matt wins the presidency. Charlotte has been in Europe trying to mend her broken heart and Matt has come to a decision concerning his and Charlottes relationship. No longer willing to live without her Matt puts a plan in motion to win her back and keep her forever.
I enjoyed this one just slightly less than I did the first book. It was missing some of the "illicit affair-falling in love" vibe that the first book had and dragged a little for me especially towar Book two starts off two months after Matt wins the presidency. It was missing some of the "illicit affair-falling in love" vibe that the first book had and dragged a little for me especially towards the end.
And although not a bad thing by any means, I think a little bit more angst or drama or something would have livened this one up for me. It was also very fast moving in terms of their relationship and his years in office. That said, I still enjoyed the heck out of it. It was super sweet and sexy as f ck. Both characters were very likable and considering politics usually bores me to tears, the author managed to keep me interested through two books loaded with it. So two thumbs up from yours truly. View all 42 comments. Jan 02, Liz rated it really liked it Shelves: arc , buddy-read , can-t-hardly-wait , forbidden-love , love-this-author , politics-rule , rich-hottie , best-couples , high-steam-alert.
President then cease reading this review now and come back later after you have read the first book! President ends, and the stakes could not be higher for our main characters. Matt is now the President, and he is determined to make a difference for America. Charlotte is determined to stay away from Matt in order for him to make that happen. In Mr.
President , Matt and Charlotte managed to keep their love affair quiet, but now that Matt is the President, Charlotte knows they cannot be together. As she attends one of his Inaugural events, Matt makes a bold move to bring her back into his life and straight into the White House. Charlotte, not wanting to be a distraction to the cause, is hesitant at first but when Matt makes it clear that he needs her in his life the match is set, and the happy couple becomes America's Golden Couple.
In the first book in the series, the angst was high as Matt and Charlotte were fighting to hide their relationship. In this follow-up book, we experience the joy and bliss of their connection, and their "coming out" party could not have been sweeter. The tempo of the writing is evenly paced as I fell more in love with these characters and, of course, the passion between Matt and Charlotte is so hot it might just catch your Kindle on fire!
Although I was anxious that something scandalous was going to happen, the plot was purely focused on the romance element between the two and their epic happy every after! It was a pleasant read that kept a smile on my face the entire time! Overall, I absolutely recommend Commander in Chief to readers who enjoy a sexy, romantic read with strong character relationships. Matthew Hamilton and Charlotte Hamilton certainly get my vote!
View all 34 comments. I felt pure love and joy with them and most important thing their chemisty were perfect. You are the definition of perfection. You are a perfect friend, perfect boyfriend, view spoiler [ perfect husband and father too And I love you so much View all 22 comments. Jan 08, Ramona rated it liked it Shelves: hot-romance , man-crush. I've waited for this book like air and after receiving the wonderful news of its early release, I was so excited to read the conclusion of this amazing love story.
Matt is now president of The United States and hasn't seen Charlotte in over 2 months, right after the news of his election was released. Because of the complicated situation that Matt was not able to be president and love someone in the same time, Charlotte decided to sacrifice her love for him and put the people's need first. Of cour I've waited for this book like air and after receiving the wonderful news of its early release, I was so excited to read the conclusion of this amazing love story.
He wants Charlotte to be his Acting First Lady, in this way having her close all the time. She accepts and you can figure out by now that being separated is not an option for this 2. I can't say that I loved this book, like I loved Mr. President, but I enjoyed it. For me Mr. President was something very new and raw, but if you ask me, Katy could have written a longer first book and insert Commander in Chief in it.
I really didn't get the point of having 2 books when not much happened in the second one. Yes, maybe I am picky, but I would have preferred to see Matt chase Charlotte more, because from that point on, I didn't see something new add to the plot. After a while, reading this all over again, kind of bored me.. I wanted it more alert, maybe with some unpredictable moments, but I wasn't surprised by anything in it.
I enjoyed on the other hand reading more about Matt, seeing him as President and lover, seeing him in control and in his vulnerable moments. Charlotte evolved a lot too, so from this perspective, Katy did a wonderful job in describing out beloved characters. In conclusion, I am satisfied with the way their story ended, but I just wanted something more to keep me alert all the time, like the first book did. View all 39 comments. Review at Of Pens and Pages. First of all, I'm in love with this duet's covers!
This alternating POV duet was such a joy to read, and it was interesting to find out more about what happens in a presidential campaign. Matt and Charlotte were both lovable characters who showed growth in the span of the two books. Commander in Chief follows the story two months after Mr. Matthew Hamilton is ready to assume office, and he's still in love with Charlotte. Their time apart m 4 stars! Their time apart made him realize how much he needs Charlotte, and now he's going to do everything to have her by his side, not only in the White House, but in his life.
She knows that if she stays, she wouldn't be able to walk away. But two months away did nothing to lessen her feelings for Matt. She comes back to the States to cheer him on and to see his inauguration in person. Nothing would have made her miss that special event. She doesn't realize that when she sees Matt again, he would never want to let her go. And he doesn't.
He's done hiding his feelings for her, and now he wants her to be his acting first lady. Most of all, he wants her by his side. He's willing to take things slow for her, but most important is he's ready to go all in. It opens up about Matt's father's assassination, but other than the mystery in the former President Hamilton's death and a few tiny bumps in the road, things sailed smoothly for Charlotte and Matt. Like Pearl said, I would have enjoyed a little bit more angst in there, but other than that, I was pretty happy with this book.
It was obvious in book one that what Charlotte and Matt have goes beyond their amazing sexual chemistry. They're so attuned to each other's needs and feelings, I kind of feel envious. I was grinning from ear to ear when I was reading about their sweet moments which this book has more than enough to satisfy anyone.
Like the first book, this one has an abundance of sex, and I'm not complaining at all. I'm sad to say goodbye to Matt and Charlotte, but it was a pleasure getting to know them. All I know now is that the world would be a better place if we had a president and first lady like Matthew and Charlotte. I want to jump inside the book and live in it.
Can we do that? Blog Facebook Twitter Instagram View all 15 comments. Katy Evans managed to write one amazing conclusion to a much beloved book of mine. I loved the forbidden, the secrecy but most of all Matt and Charlotte's love. Commander in Chief continued 2 month after Election Day. Charlotte spent the last two month in Europe, trying to keep distance between herself and Matt. For Matt it was two month too many.
He hated being apart from the woman he intended to make his. At one of Matt's inaugurat 4. At one of Matt's inauguration balls, Matt put his foot down and told Charlotte that they were far from over. That he intended to have her with him at the White House, on his site, as his First Lady.
Charlotte, wanting the same, accepted but intended to go slowly. She wanted to keep their relationship hidden until Matt had a chance to get settled in his new position as the President of the United States. Even so, their circumstances weren't ideal, their passion was as hot and enduring as ever. Matt found in Charlotte the person that he wanted to be by his side, as wife and First Lady. And he didn't care anymore what the media or anyone else would think about it.
He didn't want to be Commander in Chief without her. Charlotte made him stronger in every way. His passion and love for Charlotte was palpable. They longed for each other when they were apart. It pained them to be separated from each other. They both knew that the situation was far from ideal. Matt stepping into his fathers footsteps as President.
Taking over a huge responsibility and literally having a country as his first mistress and highest priority. Charlotte never thought anything could ever come from their affair. She never expected a happily ever after. But all of that didn't diminish their love one iota. Matt knew he couldn't give her what she deserved, a normal life, but maybe what he could offer her was good enough. A life together. For Charlotte, even sharing Matt with the country would be better than not having him at all.
So, they decided to go SLOW. She would be able to keep working with women and children, to make a change in peoples life. And living under the same roof would give them opportunity to spend time together, away from the public eye. But they couldn't keep their passion hidden for long. The media had a field day and speculation arose plenty. But most of all Matt had no inclination to keep their relationship a secret for long. He wanted to come out. To tell everyone that Charlotte was HIS. And wow, did he make a statement. He made Charlotte his in the most permanent ways. I absolutely loved Katy Evans for the way she planned out this book.
She gave me more than what I could have hoped for. I was so giddy getting this book. I adored Matt and Charlotte in Mr. Their love for each other was all consuming. The forbidden, the secrecy, the unfortunate timing, all of it made me cheer for them even more. They deserved their happily ever after. And the way Katy Evans gave it to them was just phenomenal. I loved being a part of their lives. Commander in Chief was one of those stories that made me glow inside. Warmed me up from the inside.
No drama, just real, believable and genuine feelings between Matt and Charlotte. I loved their tangible respect, admiration and support for each other. It was an incredible pleasure to read about two people that loved passionately without being over the top dramatic.
Katy Evans has not disappointed me so far, and I'm more than pleased that she has another book coming out that will be placed in the same world, but about a different couple set during Matt's second term. ARC generously provided in exchange for an honest review. View all 11 comments. But with that successful win, comes the devastating loss of losing the one woman he would do anything for. Never being one to easily give up, Matt is determined to win Charlotte back and make her his first lady. Will Charlotte give in? Or will Matt become the ultimate bachelor in the White House?
Trying her best to move on and forget about him, she takes a long over due trip. Going to his Inauguration ball is her first step to finally letting go but little does she know, The Commander In Chief has other plans. I liked that this story explored the Ins and outs of the daily life of the most powerful man and his other half.
From trying his best to run the country how he saw fit, to making sure that Charlotte knew exactly where he stood when it came to his feelings for her. This man was not afraid to pour his heart out to the woman who could bring him to his knees and I LOVED that about him. Another thing I really admired about Matt was that he was protective but considerate, strong when it came to ruling the country, but tender and supportive with Charlotte. View all 31 comments. Jan 06, Alba and Her Secrets..
I immediately got reading this book after finishing Mr. President and I thought "It's impossible for this to get better! Well, I am happy to say I was wrong! Commander in Chief is everything I expected and so much more. This series has blown my mind and given me all the butterflies! Commander in Chief is the second installment in the White House series and it continues the secret love between Matt Hamilton and Charlotte Wells. Now he is the President of the United States and Matt is decided to have Charlotte back where she belongs: by his side.
This love story is just so beautiful, I am still fangirling all over it! This is now Matt and Charlotte's journey through his presidency and how they keep their relationship working. I loved this new side to the story: seeing all the work Matt does as President, how much he loves his country and how he finally accepts that everything is better when Charlotte is close to him. This story got better, sexier, more intense and definitely, more emotional! If you thought Mr.
President was good, you are not ready to fall in love even more with this story while reading Commander in Chief! I love you immeasurably. If you thought Matt could not get any sexier, I am glad to inform you that you are wrong! My Kindle was burning while reading Mr. President but it burned to ashes with Commander in Chief. I am not kidding! The sex scenes are out of this world, beautifully written and they will definitely get your panties in a twist! I am obsessed with Matt Hamilton, can you tell? As if he belongs inside me. As if my body was made to fit every inch of his.
This love story just clicked, again, all my boxes. It has everything that I love: a great and original plot, complex and amazing characters and a couple that make you happy and extremely hot at the same time. I seriously can't get over the chemistry between these two! And the ending, OMG I loved it so much! So adorable and I am so happy about how Matt and Charlotte's love story ended! I will always choose him. I love a story that grabs me from the first page to the last and with characters that give you all the feels.
Matt and Charlotte have become one of my favorite book couples ever! You will not regret it! It's simple. It was sweetness overload. Very easy, angst free read. View all 27 comments. We're finally back with Charlotte and Matt. Or rather, with Charlotte and Mr. And he hasn't seen Charlotte for two months. She ran away to Europe to get away from everything, and to maybe start forgetting about Matt. But of course you can't forget the man you're hopelessly in love with. And Matt didn't forget her either.
He wants her back. And since they can't start a relationship just like that remember? His campaign sai We're finally back with Charlotte and Matt. His campaign said that the country will be his wife they come up with something different Charlotte will be Acting First Lady. That way she can be close to him and she can work on her dream of helping people, of doing something great with her life.
But of course they can't stay away from each other for long. But will the country be just as in love with their new First Lady as Matt is? I was so excited to find him on my kindle! I loved the first book so much and I just needed to know what would happen to our two darlings! There has to be some way those two can end up happily ever after, right??? And yes, of course. There is. Even if it will be a very public HEA - at least for the next years.
But let's not get ahead of ourselves Charlotte just moved into the White House and now they have to learn to deal with soooo many things It's not easy dating the President of the United States! But it's adorable for us readers to read! I just loved it. The whole cinderella-feel of the whole thing. Every girl wants to be Charlotte - this blogger at least! They can't just go from dating to married and HEA in a second - in front of the whole world. But we're sure they'll get there one day soon.
And we're having a great time reading about it! LOTS of very sexy and adorable and presidentsy moments for us to enjoy until we can finally fly off into our happily ever after sunset on board the Air Force One! Were there some tiny things I didn't like about the story? Hm, not really. Maybe the whole adorableness of the whole book was a bit too 'nice'. But I'm afraid some readers will find the story too lame, too uneventful, too happy. I think it was great. It's an amazing love story. I don't need unnecessary drama in my romances. I don't need weird misunderstandings and fights.
There was mayyybe a tiny little bit too much sexytime in here. And Matt's love for licking on fingers and toes was a bit creepy, but pfff - he's the president - he's allowed to be a little kinky! Run to your nearest amazon to find out if our favorite Mr. View 1 comment. I loved so much Mr. President and I couldn't wait to see what will happen between Charlotte and Matt. I loved Charlotte and Matt in this book. They were super hot together.
You can easily feel their sexual tension and how intense they were! I loved how determined Matt was to have the woman he loves, this make me fell in love even more with his character! Overall it was a great book,the main reason why I didn't give it 5 stars is because even though I enjoy it a lot I thought something was missing. View all 10 comments. Jan 02, Jacqueline's Reads rated it it was amazing Shelves: arc.
I love Katy Evans and I love this series. Commander In Chief was nothing what I expected but everything I wanted and more. I really liked the direction and dynamic of this book. I would describe this read very low on angst and high on cuteness. I loved reading about Charlotte coping with being in the public eye and having high expectations for herself.
I love it when the book is about the couple against the world. Matt is busy being the President but that does not take away his feelings for Charlotte. It was a nice background story. Overall, I would describe this book very easy, fun and cute to read. I loved reading about the couple and how they cope being in the white house. I guess you will have to read and find out. Jan 04, Nicola rated it really liked it. Commander in Chief picks up in the months following Matthew Hamilton's successful presidential bid.
If you've not read the first book, Mr. President , rewind and do so now as this isn't a standalone read. This is one of those books that whilst I was satisfied with how it played out and continued to adore the characters, at the same time I was a bit peeved at the predictable path Katy Evans led Matthew and Charlotte down, and her failure to bring anything unique to the table beyond their situation Commander in Chief picks up in the months following Matthew Hamilton's successful presidential bid.
This is one of those books that whilst I was satisfied with how it played out and continued to adore the characters, at the same time I was a bit peeved at the predictable path Katy Evans led Matthew and Charlotte down, and her failure to bring anything unique to the table beyond their situation and the general lack of of angst and drama. I expected a little bit more, but that's personal preference and there's no denying Charlotte and Matt are exceptional together.
And for that reason I can brush my peeves under the carpet because what it lacked in those respects was made up for in other ways. You can't take away the beautiful chemistry Katy Evans has created between these characters: filled with fight, fire, humour, passion and unconditional true love, and irrespective of his position of power and life in the public eye, Matt and Charlotte's hearts belong to one another.
They simply can't stay away from one another, and nor do they want to. And when combined with how much Charlotte grows as their journey progresses, because she herself is a smart, savvy endearing character, Commander in Chief really is an easy-read, captivating story of two people finding their normal in less than normal circumstances. Looking forward to discovering who that'll be. Copy received courtesy of Social Butterfly PR in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion. I'm going to make this review as quick as possible, this is one of those books where I just don't know how to review because it's character driven but this is why I ADORE Katy Evans writing style she grabs hold of my every nerve ending from page one.
This book picks up straight from Mr President and this is just a story about two people who are meant to be. We needed somewhere that had armored vehicles. He was really frustrated with me. It was controlled chaos. Andy Card : We were all thinking about the very credible idea that there was more to come. Is there a plane heading to Los Angeles? A plane headed for Chicago? Something on the train? Is there a truck bomb heading across the George Washington Bridge? We had lots of angst over the White House itself. We even had the fog of war trying to figure what was going on in the White House.
Mark Tillman : We asked for the fighter support. They led us into Barksdale. The only benefit was that anything broadcasting was broadcasting the attack. We were trying to understand from those pictures like anyone else. It was a new age. Sandy Kress : There was a lot of discussion about who did it. There was nothing anybody knew. But it was lots of talk—and some fear. I remember the plane banking back across the Gulf. We knew there was a change of plans and direction, but something was diverting the plane. Adam Putnam : [Rep. They loaded all the bombers, put the submarines out to sea, put the ICBMs at nearly percent.
It was routine, you did it every year. You could see smoke pouring out of the building. Karen Hughes : Since I was home, I saw quite a bit of TV coverage just like the American people were seeing it, and I realized that it looked like the American government was faltering. I was on the phone with my chief of staff at the White House when she was told to evacuate. I could actually see the Pentagon burning.
But I knew that lots of government was functioning—planes were being grounded, emergency plans were being implemented. I thought someone should be telling the American people that, so I wanted to talk to the president. It was just chilling. For a split second, I was so worried. Gordon Johndroe : I was sitting across the table from Mike Morell in the staff cabin. We were going to be attacked all day long. Brian Montgomery : I asked [Mike Morell] who he thought this was.
Mike Morell : The president called me into his cabin. It was packed with people. The Democratic Front for Liberation of Palestine had issued a claim of responsibility for the attack. Call George Tenet and tell him that if he finds out anything about who did it, I want to be the first to know. Got that? Sonya Ross : I got the first readout [report] from Ari. The answers we were getting there were pretty incomplete. Ari and his team were giving us the best answers they could. I was nervous. Gordon Johndroe : [Air Force One] was the safest and most dangerous place in the world at the exact same time.
I reminded him of that several times that day. Ari Fleischer : One of the recurring themes of September 11th is how much of the initial reporting was wrong. I keep that in mind every day now as I watch President Obama and world events. In normal situations, there are many ranks and many filters in government, so that only that which is proven and vital reaches the president. No one in the security apparatus wanted to be negligent in not passing things along. The media was part of that too. All those filters broke down. Andy Card : The fog of war is real. You can be in a car accident and everyone in the car crash has a different perspective.
Take that and multiple that a million times. The first estimates of the casualties were so way off. It got too crowded. Finally, someone came up and told everyone to get out.
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The only member of the staff that was up with us was Harriet Miers—she was sitting at one of the CSO seats, with a legal pad taking historical record. Dave Wilkinson : We called Mark Rosenker up to the front of the plane and told him to get us on the phone with the commander at Barksdale. He gave us full assurance that the base would be locked down.
Andy Card : I was comforted to find Barksdale was already on alert. It was going to be secure. No random terrorist would have mapped that Barksdale was where the president was going to go. Everyone was already out. I said lock her down for real. My deputy came in, Lt. Colonel Paul Tibbets—his grandfather was the pilot who flew the Enola Gay [which dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima]. I tried to refuse, but he insisted.
So I was wearing my sidearm, which I never do. We got this radio request—Code Alpha—a high priority incoming aircraft. It wanted , pounds of gas, 40 gallons of coffee, 70 box lunches, and 25 pounds of bananas. It was clearly a big plane. That has to be on the record. The president cannot be found because of his own safety.
That sent chills down my spine. The initial fighters were with us. I still remember the Fs starting in on this guy. Bearing, range, altitude, distance. They go out to their local military base. Strangelove , big guy, all decked out in a bomber jacket.
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He was straight out of central casting. It wanted , pounds of gas, 40 gallons of coffee, 70 box lunches and 25 pounds of bananas. Buzz Buzinski : Barksdale was going through a nuclear surety inspection. They already had these cops in flak jackets and Ms. They were all locked and loaded.
But you still knew that this was going to be different. As soon as we landed, they surrounded the aircraft. Everything just had changed in an instant.
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Dana Lark : When we landed there, looking out towards the flight line, it looked like a war game. You had guys in flak jackets, weapons, heavy equipment and vehicles, guns mounted on top. All facing away from the aircraft. Dave Wilkinson : My biggest concern was the Humvees. Would they be there? When I saw the four or five Humvees pull up, I had a real sense of relief.
One of the other agents raised the concern that the Air Force wanted to drive the president—we [the Secret Service] are normally the only people who drive the president. But on that day, even the Secret Service is down to just the essential crew aboard the plane. All that was waiting for him in Barksdale was this uparmored Humvee, with room for a standing gunner. The regular Air Force driver, he was nervous and just driving as fast as could be. The president told him to slow down. Mark Tillman : I went down to the tarmac to see about having the plane refueled.
We could carry 14 hours of fuel. I wanted 14 hours of fuel. That defines to me what the day was like. Tom Keck : [The president] had landed already and I was on my way to meet him. He was on his way to the conference center. He told me he needed a secure phone to call Governor Pataki, so I took him to my office. We were all overwhelmed with emotion, because we were all catching up to where everyone else had had a couple hours to process.
There was so little information, you had to do things on faith.
We were told, "You need to intercept the Angel flight. Karl Rove : This is the first point where he gets fully briefed. All three strikes are over, so we know the extent of the damage. His first instinct was to bring together the leaders of government, but everyone had dispersed. At the time, the only way to get everyone together was to go to Offutt Air Force Base, the nearest facility that had multiple-site video teleconferencing. Now the president travels with a black Halliburton case that has a screen that can do it through any broadband outlet.
Mark Tillman : I went into the base situation room. I told them I needed to get this guy underground. Where were all the places that I could do that? Offutt was the best choice. Tom Keck : People forget how much confusion there was that day about what was actually going on. Intel [officers] were coming in all the time. One said that there was a high-speed object moving towards his Texas ranch [in Crawford]. I saw him start thinking about who was at the ranch. It turned out to be a false report. It was really strange. No one else was airborne.
It just felt so serious. We had all this resolve that day.
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I was basically the only person on the trip who smoked cigarettes—or so I thought. Tom Keck : Everyone was busy doing their own thing. The president was looking over the remarks he wanted to give the country. Brian Montgomery : We got with someone from the base, and found this rec room or something like that with a bunch of memorabilia on the walls. Gordon and I started rearranging everything—got some flags, found a podium. We knew this was important. Everyone wanted to see the president. Gordon Johndroe : Barksdale was a blur.
It was really chaotic. It was bad lighting, bad setting, but it was important to have him say something to the nation. That statement is lost to history. The statement was supposed to be embargoed until we left, so I was trying to curl the phone up under my notebook, so no one would notice it was still on. It gave us a brief head start, because the wire [services], we always need to be first. And we have taken the necessary security precautions to continue the functions of your government. It was very general. We videotaped the statement, so that it went out as we left.
Tom Keck : After the press conference, he came back to my office. He was sitting on my couch and watched the Towers fall. Ari Fleischer : Andy Card made the decision to chop down the number of passengers. We had no infrastructure. We had no motorcade. Several White House staffers had to get off. Andy asked if we could take the press down to three. I thought five was the absolute minimum. Sandy Kress : Most of us had stayed on the plane in Barksdale.
We were sitting on the runway for a good bit. Was someone out there looking for us? We understood that the president was continuing on, but that he was not going back to D. Our role had been to help him with that trip, and that was over. It made sense. It was really unnerving. Gordon Johndroe : We thought at that point that we were not going to Washington for several days. We needed to shrink down our footprint. Sonya Ross : They herded us out to a blue school bus. I was thinking I had to fight to get a spot.
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I was just going to do my best to get on the plane. Gordon came on the bus. Everyone else, he said, was going to be left behind. I just scooped up my stuff and ran. Tom Keck : In the conference room, waiting for the transportation to be squared away, we were sitting around the table, wondering what brought the Towers down.
At that point, no one understood that steel melted at such-and-such a temperature. When it came time to take the president back [to Air Force One], they brought up this Humvee with a. He pointed to our supervisor of flying vehicle. He was on the ground an hour and 53 minutes. Buzz Buzinski : I saw [the president] walk up the front stairs. You could see how mad he was.
You could tell how much emotion he had, the anger inside. As soon as he got on board, it was all business. Ellen Eckert : Ari told me I was off the plane. Everyone else was getting on that plane. I was the last one on board. Tom Keck : As he takes off, two Fs pulled up on his wing. That made me think that we were finally getting our act together. At some point, I was expecting them to turn east and head to Washington. We only had maps for Texas and Louisiana that day on board. I asked for a tanker to come meet up, and after I hook up, I asked him for every radio channel between here and Canada.
Andy Card : We could finally get some television coverage. You could see the buildings on fire. You saw the replay of the collapse. There were lots of tears. There were lots of quiet moments staring at a TV screen. No conversation. There were prayers. And the fear. Scott Crogg : It was an eerie silence on the radio. You have to think through that the missiles might not do the job. You may have to employ the gun. We know this would be a plum target, but we also figure no one would expect Air Force One right now to be flying north over Kansas. Mark Tillman : The whole day was eerie. There were no radio calls.
Controllers were telling us about suspicious planes—I had no idea there were so many crop dusters in America. Eric Draper : Everyone was starving for information. Ari Fleischer : There was no live television. It put us in a very different spot than most Americans that day. People around the world were just riveted to their television sets. We had it intermittently on Air Force One. It was absolutely stunning, standing next to the president as he was talking to the vice president then holding the phone off his ear because it cut off.
Ellen Eckert : The plane is like the Twilight Zone. The staff cabin is empty, the guest cabin is empty. I saw one of the agents was standing in the hallway, and I went up to him, "So this is the safest place to be? This is Air Force One, right? I went into the bathroom and used one of those Air Force One notepads to write a letter to my family—six siblings and two parents. One of the flight attendants opened the door and comforted me and gave me a washcloth to wipe. Dana Lark : [As we flew to Offutt] some of the commercial systems finally began to become available. Everyone was just locked in.
It probably actually helped a lot of us get through the day. I did the math and figured out they were probably headed to Offutt. Well, now we had a full tank of gas. Mike Morell : On the way from Barksdale to Offutt, the president asked to see me alone—it was just me, him, and Andy Card.
I said that there were two countries capable of carrying out an attack like this, Iran and Iraq. But I believed both would have everything to lose and nothing to gain from the attack. When all was said and done, the trail would lead to UBL. I walked him through recent cases—in the  East Africa [Embassy] bombings, it had been a couple days, the  USS Cole [bombing] had taken a couple months, the  Khobar Towers [bombing] it had taken over a year.
It may be quick or it may be a long while. It felt like three, four, five minutes. It was getting awkward. Buzz Buzinski : Landing at Offutt was probably the one funny moment of the day. The rear stairs are always down first, you get off and guide the front stairs in. When we get off, underneath the jet are five or six maintainers, who were trying to plug the plane into ground power. Well, it was like cats scattering—they dropped radios, dropped the cable.
It was hysterical. I just laughed. Richard Mies, commander, U. I had my driver and a Secret Service agent who we had, and the three of us went out to the runway to greet Air Force One.
It was just a plain Chrysler. People will say it was only six, but there were a lot more than that. For everything we knew, they were all hijacked. But, even as we landed, they started to kick them off quickly. Richard Mies : I decided to bring the president down into the command center via the fire escape entrance. That was the most expedient option.
It was there for emergencies. I had them open it from the inside. Brian Montgomery : There were a lot of airmen in battle gear lining the route to the bunker. We went down and down and down, pretty far underground. Gordon Johndroe : The president went into the bunker. It was chilling. When we got to Omaha, we were tired. Our energy, the stress had ebbed and flowed. A sadness kicked in when we got to Omaha. Ellen Eckert : When he went into the bunker, wow. Clearly the only way to go was down. We just stood outside, waiting. We smoked a million cigarettes, all my new chain-smoking friends.
Richard Mies : We went directly into the command center. That really caught his attention. CNN was prominently displayed—a lot of footage of the two towers. We had four to six TV screens, all energized. I sat him down where I normally sit, and walked him through what he was seeing, so he had an awareness. Scott Crogg : All the rules that fighter pilots spend their lives living by were now out the window. When we landed [at Offut] we got more gas and picked up maps for the rest of the country.
There are always maps and approaches for the country in base operations, but all the maps always say, "Do not remove from base operations. Colonel Tillman walked into base operations and we finally started to get some information. The president was actually an alumni of our unit in Houston. There were just five of us at most.
There was no real audience. We listened as everyone reported in. Most of the initial conversation in the VTC was focused on who did this. There was a lot of speculation. It was too early to make definitive. Then we were talking about: How do we restore some sense of normalcy quickly, both for New York and for the country? And then how does the president get back to Washington? We all suspected that it was Al Qaeda. It was just a confirmation. Or an American splinter group? Dave Wilkinson : We felt like we were probably pretty safe and it could be prudent to go back.
Everyone went around the room [on the video conference], the vice president kicked it off, and everyone said their piece. Brian Montgomery : Once we got to Offutt, you would have had to tie him down to keep there overnight. Julie Ziegenhorn , public affairs officer, Offutt Air Force Base : We were working at our desks and all of a sudden, there was the President striding down the hallway. He walked right out the front door, waving to us. Mark Tillman : We thought he was going to be there for a while.
We met the minimum safety requirements and hit the air. The fighters only have so much gas. We went as fast as we could across the United States. Fs were coming out of D. We had Fs with us too. I shared all those details with the president. The second half of the packet was a set of intelligence passed to us by a European ally explaining that it had detected signs that Al Qaeda was planning a second wave.
Andy Card : When he talked to his dad, his dad reinforced George W. That made me feel a little guilty, but by then we were on our way back. The closer we got to Washington, the more the president wandered.