It is terrifying that someone could get past 'security' and get that close to some of the most powerful people in the world ["Secret Service Shouldn't Take Blame for White House Crasher Scandal," usnews.com]. The president may have not been in any danger, but what if it had been someone that did mean harm to someone there? What kind of message are we sending to our enemies? Lord knows that with the media coverage, everyone in the world knows how complacent and relaxed we are with security at all levels. Sitting ducks for terrorists or fanatics.
Comment by Dianne of MS
Here's the deal—the Secret Service is in charge of the security of the president. Period. Not the Social Secretary or any other "Love Boat" analogous functionaries. The Secret Service. They allowed a (fortunately innocuous) security breach on their watch and they obviously need to tighten up their protocols. It is that simple. The Secret Service actually are "glorified bouncers," as well as bodyguards, investigators, even soldiers when the need arises. They are arguably the finest security service in the world. They are also human, can make mistakes, and the correct response of any professional who makes a mistake is to identify the problem and correct it. Nobody has been "thrown under the bus," as much as knee-jerk Obama haters would like to portray it that way. If Mark Sullivan [Secret Service director] saw fit to discipline officers under his command in response to a security breach, then it is his job to do so. Some people would like to see Sullivan fired over this. I don't necessarily agree, but the stakes are pretty high here.
Comment by Mike of MI
White House staffers are responsible! I, as a taxpayer, am incensed that a White House staffer would take the time to email "perceived socialites" about state events and even take the time to try to secure tickets without this couple having a security clearance. Doesn't speak well for White House staffers that they are at the beck and call of people they consider "society." If they are that impressed with people that appear so superficial and who could possibly compromise national security, there's a problem. It looks as though the Secret Service trusted White House staffers too much. I am an Obama supporter but incidents such as this are just plain stupid!
Comment by Bren of GA
It's too bad this happened but the social secretary's office and the Secret Service should have stayed with protocol. That's why we have it written in the Standard Operating Procedure (S.O.P.). The new social secretary is perhaps a little young to have the maturity to oversee such things. Event planning is an "art" not a hobby. Your key staff should always be at the "first" entry point. Rain or not. Waiting in a long line is an honor for this event. Perhaps the White House will consider having a mature volunteer (one with experience) to assist for the next couple of special dinners/reception that will take place in the White House for a while. The two agencies were both at fault and should own up to it. We are lucky nothing unpleasant happened.
Comment by Carol Randle of OR