Secret Service was never asked to prepare for an Obama trip to Paris

posted at 8:41 am on January 13, 2015 by Noah Rothman

When the members of Barack Obama’s administration say that concerns for the president’s safety at the historic march in Paris on Sunday prevented him from traveling to France, and they say this often, they are really only guessing. More accurately, they should say that they believe security concerns would have prevented Obama from traveling to Paris if they had bothered to investigate the prospect of providing him with a security detail for that trip. According to the Secret Service, the agency was never even asked to consider the precautions necessary to get the President of the United States to France.

“The White House cited security concerns and the fact that the rally came together quickly, in about 36 hours. Earnest said presidential or vice presidential security for events such as the march are ‘onerous’ and have a ‘significant impact’ on those who attend,” The Washington Post reported. “A Secret Service official said the agency was not asked or notified about a potential trip to Paris.”

“Officials acknowledge that the Secret Service could have pulled it off,” reported CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta on Monday. “The agency was not asked or notified about a trip. It would have been a challenge, but he did not say it was impossible.”

It increasingly seems as though the backlash against the president’s decision to skip the march is taking on a life of its own. Presidents often miss events, and many of them are historic in nature. So why is this one capturing the imaginations of the public and the press so completely? They say that the most damaging stumble for a politician is that which accentuates an already widely acknowledged character flaw. It could be that Obama’s aloof, professorial nature has been emphasized to the point of near caricature by his decision to pass on an appearance in France.

The dissembling nature of the White House’s excuses for Obama’s absence, culminating in an admission of fault and shortsightedness, is equally unique. White House Press Sec. Josh Earnest’s admission that the White House failed to meet the demands of posterity by not sending a higher ranking official to the march has led even the media to note that this administration is rarely so contrite.

“No White House likes to admit being wrong,” Politico reported on Monday. “This White House especially has a tendency to respond to political and media criticism by digging in.”

There’s an impatience with optics — the ceremony and staging of the presidency — that flows right from the president, and any staffer hoping to do well in the West Wing dismisses concerns about appearances raised by reporters, Republicans or uncooperative Democrats.

Indeed, when Earnest was asked to respond on Monday to the many criticisms of the president’s absence, his first instinct was to reply, “Criticism from who?”

Of course, to answer Earnest’s question would have taken an hour. It is a criticism coming from the left and the right, the commentary class and the nonpartisan press, the apolitical American and the plugged in pundit alike. Earnest quickly abandoned this reflexively defensive tick, but it was instructive. It suggested, as Politico noted, that the press secretary’s first instinct was to question the character or the associations of the president’s critic rather than to answer the criticism.

This has been an interesting moment for the Obama presidency. The White House clearly made a mistake by not attending the rally, but, unlike so many other failures of this administration, the press and the public seems less inclined to forgive this infraction so quickly.


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Comments

Why would the secret service be worried?? It would just be a waste of a perfectly good bu!!et

elvis lives on January 13, 2015 at 1:12 PM

Bmore

verbaluce on January 13, 2015 at 1:13 PM

Verbaluce…who is priebuce???? Your gay twin???

elvis lives on January 13, 2015 at 1:14 PM

Oops!! Maybe hes the straight twin…..

elvis lives on January 13, 2015 at 1:22 PM

There is no debate..you’re a hypocritical piece of shit.

HumpBot Salvation on January 13, 2015 at 12:40 PM

Humpbot, you’re as silly as you are angry.
I never said anything about Repubs at all. Then you made some random comment that ‘libtards’ were blaming Repubs for Obama not sending someone to Paris.
Then unprompted, you brought me up, as ‘verbie’ as an example.
As flattered as i am to live in your head, I wanted to correct your mistake/assumption.
So now you’re mad at me for pointing that out.
In my only comment prior to your attack, I was clearly laying the blame on Obama and the WH.
So you were wrong. 100% incorrect.
So much that we disagree on…and you wanna bloviate with insults and ad-hom when we do agree?
Odd.

verbaluce on January 13, 2015 at 1:27 PM

Verbaluce…who is priebuce???? Your gay twin???

elvis lives on January 13, 2015 at 1:14 PM

Sorry, misspelled ‘Priebus’.
I don’t have a twin. And I don’t follow your ‘gay’ quip.
Did you mean to insult or mock me with the suggestion that I might have a twin and that he might be gay? Or did you mean to suggest some ‘gay’ version of me?
What made you think about ‘gay’ to start with? The idea of it doesn’t seem to at all be a factor in this post or any of my comments or those of others.
Just a little odd.
Are you gay?
It’s just sort of random and nonsensical.
Anyway, yes, I did misspell ‘Priebus’.
Thanks for pointing that out.

verbaluce on January 13, 2015 at 1:37 PM

Ted Cruz and Reince Preibuce are crass political opportunists.
Rubio was more of a grown up with his critiques.

verbaluce on January 13, 2015 at 10:16 AM

On what basis do you make the distinction?

Links and quotes are always helpful.

questionmark on January 13, 2015 at 1:44 PM

Humpbot, you’re as silly as you are angry.
I never said anything about Repubs at all. Then you made some random comment that ‘libtards’ were blaming Repubs for Obama not sending someone to Paris.
Then unprompted, you brought me up, as ‘verbie’ as an example.
As flattered as i am to live in your head, I wanted to correct your mistake/assumption.
So now you’re mad at me for pointing that out.
In my only comment prior to your attack, I was clearly laying the blame on Obama and the WH.
So you were wrong. 100% incorrect.
So much that we disagree on…and you wanna bloviate with insults and ad-hom when we do agree?
Odd.

verbaluce on January 13, 2015 at 1:27 PM

LOL as predictable as I predicted. Who’s mad bro? I can point out that you’re a hypocritical piece of shit without getting worked up about it. Facts are facts. No need for any emotion involved.

You’re too insignificant to “live in my head”. You’re a punchline…the butt of a joke. And you live up to that in every comment.

My comment was to point out the blame game, attention shifting and hackery whenever libtards KNOW their godking fluked up on a royal level. I knew that at some point on libtard websites it would turn to the usual..look at what this republican said about obama versus focusing on what obama did.

I invoked your name as example of the buffoonery we could expect from a libtard. You didn’t disappoint. Once again, you confirmed it by dragging Cruz and Prebius into the conversation…just like your masters at Huffington Post wanted you to..now scurry back over there and get your badge.

Now Cruz said the same thing that Tapper and others in the media said…explain how that is hypocritical?

HumpBot Salvation on January 13, 2015 at 1:55 PM

On what basis do you make the distinction?

Links and quotes are always helpful.

questionmark on January 13, 2015 at 1:44 PM

Crass = anyone who points out what a failure my love is

political opportunist = someone who responds to a question or discuss a current event that shows what a failure my love is

— verbalduece

HumpBot Salvation on January 13, 2015 at 1:59 PM

obama was there all along

Schadenfreude on January 13, 2015 at 1:59 PM

verbaluce on January 13, 2015 at 1:27 PM

You’re too insignificant to “live in my head”.

HumpBot Salvation on January 13, 2015 at 1:55 PM

So you say, but…

You can rage on all you want about ‘libtards’ and what ‘they’ do.
It won’t change the fact that you made an incorrect statement about me and claimed I said something that I never did.
Come on, just admit it and we can all move on.
Well, I’m gonna move on anyway.

verbaluce on January 13, 2015 at 2:01 PM

Damn verbaluce…you need more fiber in your diet

elvis lives on January 13, 2015 at 2:13 PM

Your posts might be easier to digest if you had anything even remotely resembling a sense of humor.

elvis lives on January 13, 2015 at 2:17 PM

Your posts might be easier to digest if you had anything even remotely resembling a sense of humor.

elvis lives on January 13, 2015 at 2:17 PM

Dude?
The irony…

verbaluce on January 13, 2015 at 2:20 PM

verbaluce on January 13, 2015 at 2:01 PM

Sorry turd, nothing I said was incorrect. I never claimed YOU personally didn’t put the blame on the WH. Try reading for comprehension. I’ll type slow so you can understand.

My
comment
was to point out
the blame game,
attention shifting
and hackery
whenever libtards
KNOW their godking
fluked up on
a royal level.

I used your name..because I needed a libtard to respond and you’re predictable because that’s your gig here at HotAir..trying to shift attention from your messiah’s farkups.

Yeah, you’re insignificant but oh so predictable.

HumpBot Salvation on January 13, 2015 at 2:21 PM

Verbaluce….what makes you think im a dude?. I dont see where that is relevant in this conversation. Are you a dude????

elvis lives on January 13, 2015 at 2:43 PM

Indeed, when Earnest was asked to respond on Monday to the many criticisms of the president’s absence, his first instinct was to reply, “Criticism from who whom?”

I know, grammar smammer; who cares about grammar. Besides, Josh is only the (former) spokesperson for the free world.

IndieDogg on January 13, 2015 at 3:53 PM

Verbaluce….what makes you think im a dude?. I dont see where that is relevant in this conversation. Are you a dude????

elvis lives on January 13, 2015 at 2:43 PM

Dude, what makes you think that I think you’re a dude?

verbaluce on January 13, 2015 at 5:27 PM

So of course now we’re all placing our bets on how long it takes for the Democrats to come up with some fake outrage distraction story to get back in control of the news media. I’m guessing by Friday.

It’s a pretty pathetic reality when the terrorists and Russia are the only ones who seem able to throw the Democrats off their game. It’s not a very comforting thought.

MomofFour on January 13, 2015 at 6:21 PM

well, i think that – all in all – it’s a Good Thing that Mr. Obama did not attend anything in Paris.

who needs this PR-hound mucking up another solemn occasion by waving at the photo op? or sneaking the “bunny ears” gesture behind Merkel?

WaldoTJ on January 14, 2015 at 4:07 PM