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Protecting the President

December 16, 2008

So, a USA Today article talks about the daunting challenge of protecting Barack Obama as President. Clearly, he faces a heightened security risk because of his race. I guess what they’re saying is that only right-wing gun-toting redneck Americans are security risks? I mean, the whole world was personally offended by George Bush, but that’s not a risk?

To further illustrate the point, here’s an example from this weekend that’s not grabbing many headlines. An Iraqi journalist threw a shoe at the current President. Reaction in Iraq was somewhat mixed (I wish the NY Times would feature some of their blogs more prominently – this is a nice, deep, varied presentation of thoughts from around Iraq.)  Of course, if the man had been throwing a grenade instead of a shoe, security would’ve stopped him, right? Actually, maybe not.

We shouldn’t be so myopic as to think past Presidents didn’t have a long list of folks lining up to kill them. Obama will face many of the same challenges that previous Presidents have faced in that regard. It’ll be interesting to see how he balances security concerns with the rock-star aspect of being a young President.

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