President Obama changed rush hour.
Admittedly, only for one day, but still, that's something. He was in Ottawa today, and his motorcade was driving from the Ottawa airport up to Parliament - a route that more or less bisects the city. This wasn't a major inconvenience this morning (I think) as most of the road closures were effected after the morning rush hour. But, his return trip (around 4 in the afternoon, I think), changed traffic. With the city more or less carved in two, everyone was leaving work early (myself included - don't worry, someone about three levels up the org chart from me authorized it - I wasn't playing hooky) - I left work at 3, and still had to ask an RCMP officer for permission to cross the street, and it was rush hour traffic for my entire trip home, well before one would expect rush hour to be. (I'd hate to imagine the security when Bush went to Iraq (and still got shoes thrown at him) - this was a visit to an allied capital, where Obama is popular). So, the President of the United States can change rush hour for a city of 1 000 000, simply by his presence. That's power. (And no, I didn't see the motorcade - missed it both times - though its got to be weird not to hear helicopters all the time after you retire from the Presidency)