June 11, 2009

What to pack for a presidential skydive?

Posted: 12:11 PM ET

Anchor Robin Meade

Hey gang; I'm typing this on my blackberry on the way to airport.

President George H. W. Bush enjoys a good birthday skydive.
President George H. W. Bush enjoys a good birthday skydive.

This morning, while I prefer to be thinking about what to ask President Bush 41 on his 85th birthday, I had to mostly think about what to pack. Seriously!

What do you pack for an assignment that has you interviewing a former president in the morning in a casual setting, training with the Army's Golden Knights, jumping out of a plane with the Knights and Bush 41, and then doing live shots all afternoon after I disrobe from the skydiving jumpsuit?

All while it might rain?

Two words: baseball cap.

Well, ya roll with it. There's a plethora of backup outdoor wear in my suitcase for whatever the east coast wind is going to bring us. Right now I keep checking the forecast ... hoping there won't be a rain delay.

I shall keep you posted so I can bring you along for the occasion via our live shots. Watch for the skydive landing live around 1pm this Friday (Eastern time). See ya then!!

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jacqueline mills   June 11th, 2009 12:53 pm ET

cool!!!!!!!...i cant wait to watch, i love watching you and have always admired and respected george bush....i just regret that i never got to meet him and shake his hand, you know like that movie "bucket list", where the two dying men make a list of things they want to do before they die, well, thats one of meet george bush and shake his hand.....maybe one day.......anxiously waiting to see you guys!

Yellow Tea   June 11th, 2009 2:24 pm ET

Let see, after your skydiving , your either going to end up, with broken legs, or a bodycast.. On the other hand, things could go well. So far the office pool, says, maybe a sprain ankle. My money is on everything going OK!

Writer Keith   June 11th, 2009 2:32 pm ET

The first thing I'd make sure was packed was the parachute. Good luck on the jump Boss.

forest in indiana   June 11th, 2009 2:40 pm ET

lol! that is so funny about the ball cap robin good luck and have a great jump ill be wathcing as you land

K   June 11th, 2009 3:44 pm ET


Ken   June 11th, 2009 5:28 pm ET

I'd pack a chute.

HenryMiller   June 11th, 2009 5:32 pm ET

I expect you're in for a bad case of helmet-hair! :-)

brad   June 11th, 2009 5:32 pm ET

There are thrills in life as exciting as doing your first tandem skydive.

When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.– Leonardo da Vinci

Dan M   June 11th, 2009 5:47 pm ET

Have fun and be safe – sure do enjoy your broadcasts and enthusiasm . Best of luck !

Joe in CA   June 11th, 2009 5:50 pm ET

So who's paying for this OLD man to jump out of a plane? Since it's part of the Army's Golden Knight's I bet it's us the taxpayer once again paying for some frivolous political stunt. I guess this ranks up there with 'Mission Accomplished". Another waste of flying a dumb ass Bush around FREE.

Steve   June 11th, 2009 6:07 pm ET

Nobody gives a crap what you pack for your "big presidential skydive".

Jimmy   June 11th, 2009 6:21 pm ET

Have fun Robin. I wouldnt worry about what to wear. You look good in anything. BIGFAN!!

deim   June 11th, 2009 6:28 pm ET

I hate the word plethora and wish everyone would stop using it especially the media.

deim   June 11th, 2009 6:30 pm ET

Oh... but I do like Robin's show and the elder Bush. :)

scott odell   June 11th, 2009 6:37 pm ET

BORING.... What's Obama doing...? THATS not news! BIG deal...

I wanta see Hilary jump... How about that?

Mark   June 11th, 2009 6:46 pm ET

Ah, that old guy is sure a lucky man, to get to skydive with the most beautiful anchorwoman the world has ever known. For the first time in my life, I actually envy Bush I. I will wish you the best of luck on your skydive Robin, rather than the traditional theatrical "break a leg," which seems rather inappropriate in this instance.

John "Oyster" Allen   June 11th, 2009 7:03 pm ET

Hey Robin, You're going to have a blast. As a skydiver with 1,000 plus jumps and a active video man, I have a few tips for you. Don't stare at the ground the whole time. Look at the camera man, and wave.Smile, that will be easy for you. The bigger the smile the less your cheeks will flap from the wind. Wear what you would on the ground. It will be cold up there, (minus about 4 deg. per 1,000 feet) but you won't feel it, and you will be warming up the same on the way down. Also ask the Golden Knights if they have nick names. You don't pick your nick name, it is given to you, usually from doing something stupid.

John   June 11th, 2009 7:20 pm ET

Robin, good luck on your jump! Just this morning, I was chatting with co-workers (military officers, grades O4 and above) and we were talking about you in particular. We are really glad that you have taken a tremendous interest in us (in the military) and in what we do. We were considering putting together a plan to go up to CNN headquarters – as a group – to meet you sometime this year. We are currently taking part in a course designed for senior officers from all service branches – about 35 of us – here in Georgia.

In any case, best of luck to you and worry not, the Golden Knights are the very best. You'll be in good hands. "De Oppresso Liber!"

hideaki nagano   June 11th, 2009 7:31 pm ET

I think a habit.So I think your thought.

Ron - Portland, OR   June 11th, 2009 8:07 pm ET

Robin Meade with her hair messed-up. That will be worth watching. My wife has been waiting years for Robin to look a little disheveled. Thus far, my sweetie is a frustrated gal. Maybe tomorrow will be her day.

Michael Angelo Caruso   June 11th, 2009 8:18 pm ET

Pack your own parachute, Robin! Michael, EdisonHouse dot com

WH in NJ   June 11th, 2009 8:26 pm ET

It should be a Father & Son thing being so close to Fathers Day! We can only hope that his son lands in a bank that is about to go under. Just like the movie "Michael"!

jerry walters   June 11th, 2009 8:33 pm ET


I will never watch your show again. Patronizing the crime syndicate bush family is beneath you. You are out of the viewing picture for me.

Jerry Walters
Avon, Ohio

Jon Phillip Boulton   June 11th, 2009 8:53 pm ET

Just want to say Good job and good luck, HURRY back.
Jon Phillip Boulton-Paducah, Ky.

K   June 12th, 2009 7:01 am ET


Anthony R.   June 12th, 2009 8:14 am ET

Good luck, Robin! On all accounts!

Incidentally, you always look cute in a baseball cap and ponytail!

Al Bisasky   June 12th, 2009 9:21 am ET


After today, you will be known as Robin "Screamin' Eagle" Meade to all of us Vietnam Vets.

Al in Maryland

David Hey   June 12th, 2009 9:33 am ET

Hi Robin, I hope the weather cooperates for you. As a long time skydiver, I have one piece of adivse for you. Look arounf a lot. You are going to have an incredibly beatiful, totally unobstructed view of the ocean and the surrounding area. Sometime if you're are out in CA, do a tandem in Monterey, that's where I jump sometimes and the Monterey Bay area from 18,000 feet is spectacular.

Blue skies Robin!! DH

Robert G   June 12th, 2009 10:10 am ET


You are a ray of sunshine as I hit the snooze button every morning. You have the best job!!! That is awesome. I will be praying for beautiful weather and a safe trip for you guys. You're the best!!!


Kelly Shinabarker   June 12th, 2009 10:11 am ET


I just did my first SKYDIVE for my 40th birthday over Memorial Day weekend!

It was AWESOME- can't wait to do it again someday!

Enjoy the ride!

Kelly Schonauer Shinabarker

michal   June 12th, 2009 10:28 am ET

I have always thought I wanted to jump but never have. I hope you love it and have a safe landing.
We will be watching and want all details.

Charles   June 12th, 2009 10:42 am ET

I hope you enjoy your first jump. I enjoyed my skydiving experience and I hope to get another opportunity to do it again. This is unique to see. I've never seen a reporter skydive with a former president.

Edward D. Dooling   June 12th, 2009 10:43 am ET


Frank   June 12th, 2009 10:53 am ET

Robin! are you jumping out of the plane in them sexy 5" high heels?? lol have a good time and may things go safe for you!! Frank

Dutch/Bad Newz, VA   June 12th, 2009 11:15 am ET

What a wuss. This isn't 41's first time skydiving. Why is he jumping tandem?

Briggon   June 12th, 2009 11:50 am ET

To those calling this a political stunt and infusing your political prejudice into this...knock it off. The man served his country. He has gone from politician to statesman (just as Bill Clinton is transitioning into). H.W. Bush has met his time out of office with grace. So just apprciate that a man who served his country in many ways is enjoying his golden Years. I live in Maine, and what George and Barbara have done for this state i.e. The Childrens Hospital at Maine Medical Center, is just another great contribution that they have made. So the"Bush Cartel" comments should probably should be toned down...not everything has to be "My side/your side" folks.

S Callahan   June 12th, 2009 11:53 am ET

What a blast, enjoy every minute of this.

Joe in MI   June 12th, 2009 11:55 am ET

Hey, Joe in you think it is as expensive as sending Air Force One over NYC for a photo shoot? Or how about as expensive as flying the first couple for a "date night?"

Good Luck Robin!!!!

Paul   June 12th, 2009 11:55 am ET

I don't get it. Where did the Guvment get the funds to do this?

More wasteful spending of tax payer $$
Where is the GOP outrage?
I like George H, and voted for him twice./

Johnny - Akron, Ohio   June 12th, 2009 11:58 am ET

So, how did they decide on who the lucky guy was to have Robin strapped to his body? OH MY!!

jackiemontgomery   June 12th, 2009 12:06 pm ET

I'm so jealous...just did my first jump a few weeks back. Such an amazing experience. I recommend everyone try it at least once!

Paul Ward   June 12th, 2009 12:24 pm ET

Way to go George. Airborne All the Way!! I made 50 Jumps as a paratrooper in the Army when I was in my early 20's. I hope that I could sky dive when or I if I live to be 70. Way to go Mr President, Lead the Way!

You're kidding, right?   June 12th, 2009 12:54 pm ET

Let's see, he was shot down in WW-II serving his country, was head of the CIA, served as President and is fit enough to do things at 85 which many Americans couldn't. He does a birthday sky jump that helps focus attention on our troops rather than mindless celebrities, and it provides a bit of inspiration and entertainment for Americans to find a way to be happy and fit. And we should complain about the cost?

Joe   June 12th, 2009 12:54 pm ET

Waste of taxpayers money! And this is not news!

Joyce Hagley   June 12th, 2009 12:55 pm ET

I have been wanting to skydive for a long time. I can't wait to see it either.

Charles Tashiro   June 12th, 2009 1:00 pm ET

I hope Dick Cheney isn't anywhere around. He might look up, think you're a bird and take pot-shots at you! If he is around, be sure to DUCK!

Larry B.   June 12th, 2009 1:07 pm ET

Who really cares about this has been???????

MileHiJack   June 12th, 2009 1:08 pm ET

Robin = HOT!
GHW = Not so much.

Gilbert in Brownsville TX   June 12th, 2009 1:14 pm ET

Hey Robin, enjoy your show every morning. How lucky can our ex-pres
be to have the most attractive newscaster jump with him. Good luck
to both.

Richard P Amnott   June 12th, 2009 1:24 pm ET

"Happy Birthday George"

Great fun for George--–sorry for Babara !!


Dana Fettinger   June 12th, 2009 1:30 pm ET

You go girl! What a rough day at the office! You have a great job!

susan pryde   June 12th, 2009 1:31 pm ET

Good morning Robin,
This is eskimo Sue from Saskatchewan Canada.
Please tell Mr.Bush Id like to go jump with him too..I may pass out before hitting the ground but, Im game if he is...lololol.

Good for you Robin...your braver than you look.

woo hoo!

Randy - Calif   June 12th, 2009 1:40 pm ET

have fun

Brad   June 12th, 2009 1:44 pm ET

Robin, You would look good no matter what you were wearing. You are awesome, and I watch you every morning. I have jumped before three times... it is totally awesome. Everyone should do it at least once.
It is an awesome sight! good luck!

Wanda   June 12th, 2009 1:45 pm ET

While I am sure that the jump was exciting, we couldn't see you when you first jumped because the cameraperson couldn't find you in the sky. Then, the camera was focused on the metal flagpole during most of the jump. We finally got to see you touch down on the ground. What a disappointing film coverage of your jump from our view point (behind the flagpole).

Kingsley Keys   June 12th, 2009 1:49 pm ET

Awesome Robin! Two lifelong dreams of mine: skydive AND meet a president I so admire. This is an incredible day for you.

Conner   June 12th, 2009 1:53 pm ET

Ya I wish I could feel his limp handshake

lookoutbelow   June 12th, 2009 1:54 pm ET

CNN finally found a compelling way to replace an anchor. Genius!

greg   June 12th, 2009 2:02 pm ET

If you're Robin Meade and given the recent presidential lap dance, isn't it obvious? A bikini!!

Kel in Wells   June 12th, 2009 2:02 pm ET

Thank you Briggon and Joe in MI. I am so sick of this Bush hating. Both 41 and 43 did a lot of good for this country. Yes, they made mistakes, but get over it. They are a good family and deserve our respect. Besides the Maine Med, the Dorothy Walker Pavillon in Biddeford was dedicated by the Bushes. They also do a lot of charity events in the area. To Dutch/badnews: he is 85! Ever heard of bones breaking more easily in the elderly?

Awesome jump, Mr. President!!

Dave Wetzler - Austin, Tx   June 12th, 2009 2:02 pm ET

Beautiful jump Robin and a darn near perfect landing. Congrats!
BTW – a jump suit never looked so sexy. ":O)

Lew Aumack   June 12th, 2009 2:06 pm ET

Went Tandem-skydiving shortly before 82 and unknowingly shortly after the Elder Bish, in NO WAY attempting to copy ! Jumped near the N. shore of Nova Scotia & had a most awesome view of the Atlantin on one side & the Bay of Fundy on the other so beautiful that I forgot I had a parachute until the straps around my chest & upper legs suddenly stopped my fall from 100 mph – thanx, Mr. Piggyback !! No broken bones, no problem from my recent knee replacement, just a good rolling tumble on landing (Mr. P taking the mild landing on his legs) and had it all on video tape to serve as a good role model of "old age" for my rapidly multiplying Great Grandchildren !!

With Luck on my back, am looking forward to jumping again in 4 yrs.
on my 90th !!!

SFC Lew Walton   June 12th, 2009 2:06 pm ET

You ALWAYS look great in whatever assignment you do. Congrats on the 1st time jump!..

Brian   June 12th, 2009 2:07 pm ET

Joe in CA June 11th, 2009 5:50 pm ET–You're an idiot.

VHinBA   June 12th, 2009 2:07 pm ET

Hey, Joe in CA, yeah we the taxpayers are paying for it, but guess what....the Golden Knights have to get their jumps in anyway so it really costs nothing extra. So let the old man, an ex-PRESIDENT mind you, have a little fun (you know...the job SHOULD come with some perks).

And many people get to go "skydiving" with an ex-president? I'm sure if you had the'd jump at it too...but don't hold your breath

JT   June 12th, 2009 2:15 pm ET

Answer the former First Lady's Question. "How's lap did you sit on?"

robert Berridge   June 12th, 2009 2:16 pm ET

Robin – your free fall today was a very courageous decision! A question – Is Kurt Isenbarger the son of John Isenbarger who was on the Indiana University football team of 1967, 1968 that represented the Big 10 at the Rose Bowl?



Toeknee   June 12th, 2009 2:22 pm ET


I share your sentiment on keeping political agendas out of this conversation; Jerry Walters should be ashamed of himself for making such a negative statement. I am a fellow Mainer as well and can attest to the fact that Mr. and Mrs. Bush have done wonders for the people of this state. Now on a lighter note, Robin, you're my favorite news anchor and if I have to leave work early I DVR you. There's something to be said for sharing the day's news in a lighter sense. Good luck with the jump and I hope you have a great time!

Shane Wyzlic   June 12th, 2009 2:23 pm ET

After reading Jacqueline's post about wanting to shake the hand of President Bush 41 I felt obligated to post. I was in the Navy on the USS Enterprise in the Gulf of Oman in April of 1986. Then Vice President Bush and his wife were in I believe Yemen and flew out to the carrier. I was stationed with Commander Cruiser Destroyer Group THREE, the battle group commander – Admiral Paul D. Miller. Some of the staff was outside the war room and we had our camera's in hand. Then VP Bush walked out and said "put the camera's away" and had his press secretary take some pictures. We all shook his hand and he left. Several weeks later our Chief of Staff received an envelope from the White House. There was an 8×10 official photo for each guy in the picture. I was very impressed. Thanks for allowing me share.

JT   June 12th, 2009 2:30 pm ET

I would be willing to bet that this was not paid for by taxpayer dollars. Just like when a reporter or other civilian rides with the Navy's Blue Angels or the Air Force's Thunderbirds.

Grace   June 12th, 2009 2:35 pm ET

Robin, KUDOS to you! Two thumbs up! First time jumping? i can't believe it, you looked like a pro landing and Former George H.W. Bush, 85! Jumping, priceless! It's AWESOME seeing someone his age jumping affirms age is "ONLY A NUMBER." This is one of my dreams and one day I will feel the adrenaline rush.

THE ROCKET   June 12th, 2009 2:42 pm ET


Tina Mull   June 12th, 2009 2:46 pm ET

OMG!!!!! I was sitting on the edge of my seat, watching and praying for a safe landing, and you did, WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! you are AWESOME!!!!!!! I love watching every morning.........I bet all little girls out there are saying "I want to be just like Robin" .....Take Care........

John   June 14th, 2009 8:06 pm ET

As a Kennbunkport resident, I believe it would be hard to find a man more kind and gracious that George Bush ('41), no matter one's political orientation. He is a class act who is as quick to attend the wake for his garbage collector (summer '08) as to have President Clinton a guest in his home. His kindness is universal.

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