Presidential podiums pilfered?

posted at 8:45 am on October 18, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Oh, come on. I don’t see what the big deal is in this NBC story from Henrico, VA. Isn’t this just a demonstration of open-source redistributionism?

NBC12 has uncovered one of those stories that makes you think: “How in the world does that happen?!” A truck filled with President Obama’s podiums and audio equipment was stolen in Henrico just days before his visit to Chesterfield.

We confirmed an investigation with the U.S. Defense Department. There are still a lot of questions. The biggest one being did the thieves intentionally target the President’s truck or did they take advantage of a crime of opportunity and give a big “uh-oh” when they saw what was inside.

When you see President Obama speak, there is a pretty typical setup including the presidential seal on a podium, the see-thru Teleprompter and a portable sound system.

Thieves saw the truck carrying that equipment and couldn’t resist the target.

POTUS without a TOTUS? Heaven forbid!

Fortunately for the President, the truck was recovered, but I imagine there will be a few sheepish faces around the presidential detail today. I’d also assume that whoever stole the truck — almost certainly without knowing what it contained or who owned it — have fled the area at something approaching warp speed.

Update: On a more serious note, commenter NeoKong points out just how bad this security breach could have been:

The story is funny and everything until you realize what a breach of security this really was.

Once somebody gained unsupervised access to that bus and it’s contents they could have done anything they want. What if somebody planted a device or some sort of miniaturized explosive….? What if somebody planted electronic tracking devices or audio or video devices….? They would know where the POTUS would be going days in advance. Can anyone imagine the sort of conversations they could listen in on if somebody planted as bug or the details of security they could see if there was surveillance equipment…?

This is a BFD. Getting to that podium is almost as good as getting up close to the POTUS.

Which is why I suspect that there are some very sheepish faces around the White House this morning, and why the security plan for the equipment has probably been updated — and perhaps the team as well.

Breaking on Hot Air

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Comment pages: 1 2

More importantly: Who’s going to steal his presidency in 2012?

eforhan on October 18, 2011 at 8:47 AM

I haven’t laughed this hard in a while – too funny.

gophergirl on October 18, 2011 at 8:47 AM

POTUS without a TOTUS? Heaven forbid!

the suicide was the cry for help… TOTUS wasn’t taken. TOTUS was saved!

**Waits for Iowahawk**

upinak on October 18, 2011 at 8:48 AM

Ruh-roh! Someone stole the TOTUS! What’s the line of succession from that point?

Sekhmet on October 18, 2011 at 8:49 AM

Blames republicans in 3…2…1…

Kissmygrits on October 18, 2011 at 8:49 AM

Should have smashed the glass TelePrompTer screens.

andy85719 on October 18, 2011 at 8:49 AM

Hey, it’s just part of “spreading the wealth.”

rbj on October 18, 2011 at 8:51 AM

Free TOTUS!

theflyonthewall on October 18, 2011 at 8:52 AM

Let us all bow our head and with hope pray that they got the TOTUS too and have saved us from months and months of how dumb, dirty, and mean we Republicans are.

Herb on October 18, 2011 at 8:53 AM

I LOLed when I read this on Drudge this morning. Can you imagine the Precedential panic that must have ensued? :-) Freaking priceless.

CantCureStupid on October 18, 2011 at 8:54 AM

Presidential podiums pilfered?

Precedent perplexed.

Extrafishy on October 18, 2011 at 8:55 AM

“from each according to his ability, to each according to his need”

Isn’t that how the saying goes? Mr. President should be happy his policies are taking effect.

rihar on October 18, 2011 at 8:56 AM

The folks at Occupy Henrico could not be reached for comment.

Rovin on October 18, 2011 at 8:57 AM

With that bunch of crooks it was definitely an inside job!

tim c on October 18, 2011 at 8:57 AM

In a competent administration this doesn’t happen.

darwin-t on October 18, 2011 at 8:58 AM

Poor TOTUS

Not even an Amber Alert? Where is the love

cmsinaz on October 18, 2011 at 9:02 AM

Have they nabbed the Tea Party person who committed this crime?

Cindy Munford on October 18, 2011 at 9:03 AM

If this shows up on Wall street, redistribution at its finest…

right2bright on October 18, 2011 at 9:03 AM

“Pay me or you will never see your teleprompter again”…

Okay, I want to see this at the next Tea Party rally…

right2bright on October 18, 2011 at 9:04 AM

With that bunch of crooks it was definitely an inside job!

tim c on October 18, 2011 at 8:57 AM

Fire doesn’t melt podiums. Google it.

Extrafishy on October 18, 2011 at 9:04 AM

The story is funny and everything until you realize what a breach of security this really was.

Once somebody gained unsupervised access to that bus and it’s contents they could have done anything they want.
What if somebody planted a device or some sort of miniaturized explosive….?
What if somebody planted electronic tracking devices or audio or video devices….?
They would know where the POTUS would be going days in advance.
Can anyone imagine the sort of conversations they could listen in on if somebody planted as bug or the details of security they could see if there was surveillance equipment…?

This is a BFD.
Getting to that podium is almost as good as getting up close to the POTUS.

NeoKong on October 18, 2011 at 9:05 AM

Fortunately for the President, the truck was recovered

The system worked!

mudskipper on October 18, 2011 at 9:05 AM

Hey they are listening to Obama and stealing from ‘millionaires and billionaires’…

DavidM on October 18, 2011 at 9:06 AM

Theievs got scared and dumped the truck at a Holiday Inn Express, instead of the river, damn their eyes. Tweet of the day, Todd Starnes, Fox News Radio:

Cops find stolen TOTUS at Holiday Inn. TOTUS replied: “I may not be POTUS, but I slept at a Holiday Inn Express last night.”

tree hugging sister on October 18, 2011 at 9:06 AM

NeoKong on October 18, 2011 at 9:05 AM

Yep, there’s really no way these things should have been left in an unsecure truck in a lot.

Mr. Bingley on October 18, 2011 at 9:07 AM

the suicide was the cry for help… TOTUS wasn’t taken. TOTUS was saved!

**Waits for Iowahawk**

upinak on October 18, 2011 at 8:48 AM

Didn’t a TOTUS commit suicide awhile back…or was it a mercy killing?

annoyinglittletwerp on October 18, 2011 at 9:08 AM

tree hugging sister on October 18, 2011 at 9:06 AM

Okay that’s funny

gophergirl on October 18, 2011 at 9:08 AM

2nd that GG

+1 treehuggingsister

cmsinaz on October 18, 2011 at 9:10 AM

Um.

Ronnie on October 18, 2011 at 9:11 AM

This is a BFD.
Getting to that podium is almost as good as getting up close to the POTUS.

NeoKong on October 18, 2011 at 9:05 AM

I built the stage for Clinton when he gave away the Grand Escalante Staircase. The SS was on top of us the whole time and the “Blue Goose” as they called it (podium) was under their contol the entire time. Someone is in deep doo doo for this.

darwin-t on October 18, 2011 at 9:12 AM

It was an inside job involving some D.C. ATMs.

RDE2010 on October 18, 2011 at 9:13 AM

NeoKong on October 18, 2011 at 9:05 AM

My first instict was to laugh, and then I thought of that. This is a serious failure on the part of the SS. I wonder if it is standard procedure to inspect the equipment for bugs/b0mbs after leaving it unattended and unsecured overnight. I’d imagine not, because you would think it would be easier just to have someone guard it, which they obviously didn’t.

Fezzik on October 18, 2011 at 9:16 AM

Who’s our Vice-Teleprompter? I forget.

RBMN on October 18, 2011 at 9:17 AM

OMG! Totus ran away!

tinkerthinker on October 18, 2011 at 9:17 AM

obviuosly, I’m not the only one tired of all the speechifying

dirtseller on October 18, 2011 at 9:19 AM

Cops find stolen TOTUS at Holiday Inn. TOTUS replied: “I may not be POTUS, but I slept at a Holiday Inn Express last night.”
tree hugging sister on October 18, 2011 at 9:06 AM

OMG… Iowahawk should take this and Steal it!

upinak on October 18, 2011 at 9:20 AM

Someone is in deep doo doo for this.

darwin-t on October 18, 2011 at 9:12 AM

Eric Holder knew where TOTUS was all the time…..just like he knows where all those guns were heading.

Rovin on October 18, 2011 at 9:22 AM

Wonder how many milk cartons will have TOTUS’ picture along the side?

pilamaye on October 18, 2011 at 9:23 AM

Wow! Regardless of how I feel about this President, he damn well better be more thoroughly protected than that!

Didn’t we just have a story about the secret service obsessing over where a Brit cruiser’s missiles were pointed? Sounds like their priorities are messed up.

ElectricPhase on October 18, 2011 at 9:23 AM

I laughed so hard this morning I almost passed out!!!…

Thanks for the story ED…

PatriotRider on October 18, 2011 at 9:24 AM

When asked for comment, Presentdent 0bama replied, “Umm… Ummm.. Let me be clear… Umm… It’s all Bush’s fault”

Wolftech on October 18, 2011 at 9:28 AM

TOTUS kidnapped!

vcferlita on October 18, 2011 at 9:28 AM

Ok, I did write this in Ed’s OOTD:

“My jobs bill is really just a joke, and I’m not really the President of the United States—but I did stay at the Holiday Inn Express last night”…..Obama

Rovin on October 18, 2011 at 8:47 AM

Rovin on October 18, 2011 at 9:28 AM

ObamaJunkGate

Electrongod on October 18, 2011 at 9:29 AM

This is a BFD.
Getting to that podium is almost as good as getting up close to the POTUS.

NeoKong on October 18, 2011 at 9:05 AM

Yea, I laughed too and then wondered what kind of nincompoops we have on security in this administration. This is a real disaster as far as security goes. But the incompetence is not surprising coming from this administration.

scalleywag on October 18, 2011 at 9:29 AM

My first instict was to laugh, and then I thought of that. This is a serious failure on the part of the SS.

Fezzik on October 18, 2011 at 9:16 AM

Did you just Godwin this thread?

Wolftech on October 18, 2011 at 9:30 AM

Looks like the incompetence of this administration is contagious. For the good of the country we must immediately quarantine the President and his staff in Detroit until our scientists can find a cure!

Browncoatone on October 18, 2011 at 9:33 AM

TOTUS kidnapped!

vcferlita on October 18, 2011 at 9:28 AM

I don’t think so.
I think it was an escape attempt.

Free TOTUS!!!

justltl on October 18, 2011 at 9:35 AM

..Can anyone imagine the sort of conversations they could listen in on if somebody planted as bug..

Google street-view snoopers come to mind. Imagine the back-room chatter .. ” Stoopid f’in voters !”

/.

CaveatEmpty on October 18, 2011 at 9:36 AM

I expect a TOTUS ransom demand momentarily…

golfmann on October 18, 2011 at 9:43 AM

I suppose instead of Three Stooges Security Inc. they’ll go to the much more reliable Abbott and Costello Ltd. for all their security needs.

DrAllecon on October 18, 2011 at 9:45 AM

My bet is that it was part of the TOTUS Liberation Front, and that the truck ran out of gas.

ajacksonian on October 18, 2011 at 9:47 AM

What if somebody planted a device or some sort of miniaturized explosive….? What if somebody planted electronic tracking devices or audio or video devices….?

Hopefully the Secret Service has scoured this equipment to ensure that neither type of device was planted.

WordsMatter on October 18, 2011 at 9:51 AM

Not a problem.

Some kids from OWS merely redistributed the stuff.

So, what’s to complain about?

Right, Mr. Obama?

coldwarrior on October 18, 2011 at 9:53 AM

If a pretty blonde TOTUS had been kidnapped, it would be on the news 24/7.

faraway on October 18, 2011 at 9:58 AM

Even at the Palin rally in Erie, PA they didn’t want AMERICAN FLAGS inside the convention center. Imagine our looks of perplexity when we had and wore American flags to a T.

We had to give all those American flags away, and some posters too. SS was thorough and I wished the dude that was right in front of my view could’ve moved couple of inches so I got a better view. It’s awkward when you think you can ask him to move and then you realize “heck no, he won’t move for nobody, that’s his job!”

Wishful thinking on my part, although I was already in front :)

ProudPalinFan on October 18, 2011 at 10:02 AM

Someone stole Obama’s brain.

bluesman on October 18, 2011 at 10:07 AM

Whatever you think of the White House, the Secret Service is professional enough that a bomb or listening device planted on the equipment would have been found and dealt with.

The easier and more severe threat was a virus in TOTUS himself. Just imagine another harangue speech about the (No) Jobs Act when TOTUS suddenly started listing talking points from the Ron Paul campaign.

The One would be lost in mid speech.

thuljunior on October 18, 2011 at 10:08 AM

…when TOTUS suddenly started listing talking points from the Ron Paul campaign.

The One would be lost in mid speech.

thuljunior on October 18, 2011 at 10:08 AM

From your lips to God’s ear.

coldwarrior on October 18, 2011 at 10:11 AM

Someone stole Obama’s brain.

bluesman on October 18, 2011 at 10:07 AM

Yeah, the hid it in a matchbox

darwin-t on October 18, 2011 at 10:12 AM

[HOLD FOR APPLAUSE]

Ronnie on October 18, 2011 at 10:16 AM

TOTUS! Are you OK, speak to us!! I think someone has struck at the heart of the President’s power, for without you he is speechless…

EasyEight on October 18, 2011 at 10:23 AM

If the president just reads off the teleprompter, hasn’t he made himself outdated? The key to the presidency is the teleprompter.

I also heard the teleprompter was starting to sign autographs and influence policy. Maybe the President got jelious and took him out?

Oil Can on October 18, 2011 at 10:25 AM

faraway on October 18, 2011 at 9:58 AM

winner!

cmsinaz on October 18, 2011 at 10:26 AM

Whatever you think of the White House, the Secret Service is professional enough that a bomb or listening device planted on the equipment would have been found and dealt with.

thuljunior on October 18, 2011 at 10:08 AM

That is because they are aware of the breach and I hope you are correct.

What if the bus was not stolen but merely tampered with….?
How would they know?
What makes you think that they sweep that thing every time they use it?
The damn thing was sitting there unsecured while it’s handlers were maybe singing karaoke and eating buffalo wings.

I use the fact that it was stolen as the measure of how good the security is and not how good I hope it is.

NeoKong on October 18, 2011 at 10:29 AM

I heard that TOTUS came back with a case of Stockholm Syndrome, and may have to be replaced by a newer, less emotional model.

Mr. Wednesday Night on October 18, 2011 at 10:38 AM

Since Obama has bankrupted the country, China asked Lizard Lick Towing to repo the sound truck.

faraway on October 18, 2011 at 10:41 AM

What makes you think that they sweep that thing every time they use it?

Dude have you heard of food testers? And those who have to sweep away O’s DNA from a toilet?

ProudPalinFan on October 18, 2011 at 10:47 AM

This is a BFD.
Getting to that podium is almost as good as getting up close to the POTUS.

NeoKong on October 18, 2011 at 9:05 AM

It’s a HUGE deal…That’s exactly what I thought as I was reading this, how easy it would have been to rig a podium. I would HOPE these podiums and teleprompters and such are given a thorough going over every time they’re set up.

JetBoy on October 18, 2011 at 10:49 AM

Yeah, someone could have even planted a resignation speech on the TelePrompTers and the SCOAMF-in-Chief wouldn’t even have known what he was saying until it was already out of his mouth…

JEM on October 18, 2011 at 10:51 AM

Are we sure it didn’t just run away?

Tim_CA on October 18, 2011 at 11:03 AM

In Friday’s document dump we will find out that 1000 Palestinian terrorists were traded for its safe return.

Lily on October 18, 2011 at 11:10 AM

Teh One increases the Prez motorcade up to some 40 vehicles (from 30?).
So it’s now obviously way too hard to keep up with them all.

eeyore on October 18, 2011 at 11:15 AM

Maybe it will show up on ebay or craig’s list, let’s keep an eye out for it folks, it might be a collectors item someday/

Dr Evil on October 18, 2011 at 11:19 AM

TOTUS has been kidnapped… does this mean Al Haig is in charge??? /

phreshone on October 18, 2011 at 11:40 AM

I think the first place to look is every Senate dem candidate running for office…he can’t show up without TOTUS.
It’s always the family first, always check the family…

right2bright on October 18, 2011 at 11:42 AM

What, Chavez is giving a speech and he loaned it out to him…the speech is already written…

right2bright on October 18, 2011 at 11:43 AM

The oaf s/b in the WH, leading the country.

Schadenfreude on October 18, 2011 at 11:44 AM

Do we have the Vice Totus waiting to be sworn in?

mugged on October 18, 2011 at 11:47 AM

Not to worry. While they are retrieving TOTUS, Barry can use the People’s Microphone technique. A quick tutorial in up/down twinkles for his audiences, and he’s good to go.

Christien on October 18, 2011 at 11:49 AM

This has Vast Right Wing Conspiracy written all over it.

mugged on October 18, 2011 at 11:50 AM

I loved the headline … “Thieves steal truck with President’s equipment” … I wonder if Michelle knows

Anthony Weiner is on the problem

J_Crater on October 18, 2011 at 11:50 AM

The first 48 hours are critical. If they don’t locate TOTUS within that time, kiss his glass goodbye.

Christien on October 18, 2011 at 11:54 AM

Breaking: TOTUSnappers send ransom note–”We don’t want to be the first ones to break the glass on this new kind of warfare.”

Christien on October 18, 2011 at 11:59 AM

S-E-T-U-P.

labrat on October 18, 2011 at 12:09 PM

You guys are all WAY too clever and funny this morning…what a hoot! Thanks for the laughs…

StarLady on October 18, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Someone stole Obama’s brain.

bluesman on October 18, 2011 at 10:07 AM

“He’s worse than dead. His brain is gone!”

“Brain and brain! What is “brain”? It is Controller, is it not?”

Mary in LA on October 18, 2011 at 12:28 PM

it contained his word salad generater and his sloganeering records. Herm Cain could win with those.

seven on October 18, 2011 at 12:56 PM

I question the timing.

faraway on October 18, 2011 at 1:07 PM

TOTUS missing, Obama’s at a loss for words.

DrAllecon on October 18, 2011 at 1:18 PM

Presidential podiums pilfered?

Perfectly plausible, perhaps.

coldwarrior on October 18, 2011 at 1:34 PM

Presidential pardon proffered.

coldwarrior on October 18, 2011 at 1:34 PM

Pictures of Obama’s Teleprompter to appear on milk cartons in the tri-state area

Obama administration offers to exchange 1026 multiple murder felons for Teleprompter, no questions asked

DANEgerus on October 18, 2011 at 1:51 PM

My first instinct? Repo’d by the ChiComs.

thirtypundit on October 18, 2011 at 4:50 PM

Wouldn’t it be “presidential podia”?

disa on October 18, 2011 at 8:53 PM

Comment pages: 1 2