While Sleepy Joe was soaking up the glory of turning himself into the comeback kid Tuesday night, it was Jill Biden who stole the show. A couple of anti-dairy protesters interrupted Joe Biden’s victory speech in Los Angeles and Dr. Jill wasn’t having it.
Jill Biden in her bright green jacket, released her inner Hulk and sprung into action as the first protester jumped onto the stage. She went right for Joe so Jill put herself between the protester and her husband. The protester held a “Let Dairy Die” poster and was shouting a slogan. After the first protester was given the bum’s rush off the stage, a second protester jumped on the stage. This time Jill Biden had an assist from Team Biden’s senior adviser, Symone D. Sanders. While Jill stiff-armed the protester, Symone tackled her as other staffers dragged her from the stage. All the while Joe Biden and his sister were looking on, stunned.
A photographer for Bloomberg Politics captured one of the two scuffles perfectly.
— Patrick T. Fallon (@pfal) March 4, 2020
The obvious question is where was Joe Biden’s security detail? What kind of security operation does his campaign have set up for the elderly former vice-president? This isn’t the first time that Jill Biden has had to act as Joe’s bodyguard – it happened in New Hampshire in February when a man rushed up as Biden spoke from a podium at a campaign event. Jill Biden stopped him by shoving him away before others stepped in to help.
For the record, this kind of interruption at a rally happened to Bernie Sanders in Nevada last month. In today’s torqued-up political atmosphere, all of the candidates are vulnerable to attempted assault by out-of-control protesters.
Some asked on social media about Secret Service protection, since he is a former vice-president. Biden doesn’t have that now, though, because vice-presidents are only entitled to six months protection upon leaving office. In 2008, legislation was passed (H.R. 5938) that provided limited protection to former vice-presidents, their spouses, and children under the age of sixteen. Protection can be extended by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) but it was not for Biden.
After the assassination of Bobby Kennedy in 1968, Congress authorized Secret Service protection for major presidential and vice-presidential candidates and their spouses within 120 days of the presidential election. We aren’t within that timeframe yet in this election cycle. DHS has offered Secret Service protection to candidates before the 120 day time period in past elections. There are guidelines that the DHS follows.
DHS considers several factors when deciding which candidates will be covered, according to the U.S. Secret Service website. Among the factors is whether the candidate is polling at 15% or higher for at least 30 days. Campaigns have to request the protection, and sometimes they don’t because it can make it more difficult to connect with voters.
Then-Sen. Barack Obama received his Secret Service detail in mid-2007, months before he won the 2008 Democratic nomination. The campaigns of Ben Carson and Donald Trump sought Secret Service protection in October 2015, according to news reports at the time.
Fortunately, the only injury that happened to either woman, that we know of, was that Symone broke a fingernail.
I broke a nail. #SuperTuesday
— Symone D. Sanders (@SymoneDSanders) March 4, 2020
It seems to me that Team Biden should have some legitimate security in place for Joe. He’s old, he’s frail despite his continual challenges to others to prove how physically fit he is, and he’s a target of the wacky left. This is a concern now that the anti-Sanders Democrats are falling in line to support Biden and his Jomemtum grows. In the earlier days of his campaign, his crowds were small and no one paid much attention to him unless he made a gaffe. He needs two or three agile men standing guard on the edges of the stage, ready to spring into action when the wackadoos rush in.
Jill Biden and Symone Sanders’ actions remind me of that time Wendy Deng Murdoch, then the wife of Rupert Murdoch, leaped into action when a protester tried to throw a pie at Rupert during his testimony before the British Parliament. Remember the pie-throwing craze back in 2011? She slapped that protester away from her husband and it was awesome.