Friday, November 14, 2008

Renegade's New Life Behind the Protective Barrier

Renegade--that is President-elect Barack Obama's handle with the Secret Service--and his family have begun the personal adjustment to a brave new world of Secret Service protection following the election. (Michelle Obama's code name is Renaissance by the way). Oh, he and his family were protected before, but since his election that protection has been amped up exponentially.

The New York Times has an excellent piece of what this security burden is like for the future First Family and the residents of their Hyde Park neighborhood. Here is a little taste: "The trappings of his life are increasingly presidential. Although he does not yet have access to Air Force One, he now rides in an armored government limousine, complete with the war wagon and other motorcade vehicles zipping through red lights with traffic blocked. Although the Secret Service long ago set up concrete barriers around his house here, they expanded their perimeter by several blocks after the election and brought in explosive-sniffing dogs....The streets around Mr. Obama’s home have been closed to outside traffic. Residents show picture identification at checkpoints as officers scan lists of pre-cleared people. The K.A.M. Isaiah Israel synagogue across the street gave the Secret Service a list of 2,000 members and regular visitors, who are checked by metal detectors before services."

So goes life in the bubble. It is too bad that our First Families have to give up so much of their personal privacy and freedom; however, given America's abysmal historical track record protecting its presidents, it's a price the president and family has to pay to keep them safe.

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