Sunday, August 22, 2010
I like a book store as much as anybody, but was this really necessary?
Vineyard Haven - President Barack Obama had a simple task for his first morning on vacation: shoot over to a Martha's Vineyard book store to fill out his daughters' summer reading list and grab himself a novel.
Easier said than done.
His sports utility vehicle, part of a 20-vehicle motorcade, passed through a cordon of Massachusetts State Police motorcycle officers, in a protective cocoon of Secret Service agents.
Tagging along for the quick trip on Friday were White House communications trucks, an ambulance and two vans full of reporters and photographers.
Uh, hasn't the White House heard of Amazon Prime? Given the summer traffic on Martha's Vinyard, which is hellish under the best of circumstances, there are no doubt any number of residents who would spring for the annual membership fee just to keep the Obama family from venturing out for trivialities.
George Bush would have just driven himself over and showed up unannounced...as he has done many times since leaving office.
The other disturbing thought...against whom are they exercising such massive protection for Obama. Foreign threats or US!
I used to feel that way everytime Bush came to NY. Whole sides of town would be closed for hours, and if he was spending the night at the Waldorf don't even bother trying to going north of 14th street. Twice while taking the DC shuttle, I was stuck on the runway for over an hour waiting for the freaking airspace around Manhattan to be reopened following his visits to NY.
Poor guy. I'm sure he disliked visiting NY as much as we disliked having him. But I promise you he didn't travel any lighter!
Nice try, Anon. He flew into Richmond and addressed an election rally that I attended. Seamless, quick and efficient.
The only problem was that the air space had to be cleared post 911. To avoid potential missile attacks, Air Force One had to make a "straight-in" drop approach from 10,000 feet without a standard approach vector, so air space had to be cleared.
Funny...the LESS we are involved in war, the MORE complex Mr. Obama's protection becomes.
I guess we are on our way to our own version of the Republican Guard.
Methinks they will have to do something about the same.
I think the visual sets a good example -- a father making sure that the summer reading list for the kids is checked off (although it is late August, so it is a bit tardy).
Short of wearing a Yankees cap, there is nothing President Obama could do on that fair island to diminish the high regard that the residents and summercators have for him. That said, there probably will be some eyes rolled regarding the environmental consequences of his motorcade.
To be clear, everyone, regardless of political viewpoint, should be cheering on the efforts of the Secret Service in making sure that not a hair on the graying head (I can empathize) of our president is damaged. That is true of all presidents, of course, but perhaps somewhat more so in this case. Even if you object to all of his policies, and do not care for the man personally, you do not want him to become a martyr.
The book store was holding an advance copy of his book -- but he still could have just sent someone over to pick it up. Which would have made the Secret Service much happier.
(Escort81 is right, of course. We want to see Obama's presidency end in the constitutional way, preferably in January 2013.)
I doubt very much that the Obamas read enough books to justify them having Amazon Prime.
The motorcade included an ambulance? What, pray tell, could possibly have happened on a bookstore run?
Much more disturbing is his apparent disregard for disrupting the lives of the general public and the obvious "PR Stunt" nature of the trip.
If I were that bookstore I'd be angry at the loss of paying customers for the day, since the Secret Service will have shut it down for hours preceding Obama's arrival. Obama buying a couple of books hardly makes up for it.
Anon 8:17 has it right. Our celebrity president cares more about the public appearance and paparazzi effects than about island residents or visitors convenience. We're just lucky he's still willing to vacation in this country and not choosing instead to go to Cannes during the film festival, given his hunger for mixing with stars.