There have been lots of joint announcements coming from the Carson and Trump camps of late. You’d almost think they’re sharing a communications director — not that it would make much of a difference with the conflicting and often contradictory statements from the candidates themselves.
Both Carson and Trump have officially contacted the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to request protection details from the United States Secret Service (USSS). These requests are not out of the ordinary and it’s not a partisan issue (although it is worth noting that Secretary Clinton’s detail has been in place since she served as First Lady). To hear Trump tell the story, however, it’s all about The Donald.
In an interview with The Hill (prior to Monday’s request), Trump lamented the fact that then-Senator Obama already had secured a Secret Service protection detail at this point in the 2008 campaign. “They’re in no rush because I’m a Republican. They don’t give a shit.”
Like many things Trump says out loud — he tried to walk it back later, saying, “Of course I don’t think they’d want anything to happen. But I would think they should be very proactive and want protection for somebody like me that has 20,000 people at any time. You would think that they would want to be very proactive, but we have not heard from them.”
That’s because procedure dictates USSS protection is not an automatic entitlement, Mr. Trump, unless you’re already your party’s nominee (you’re not) or have officially requested protective status (you hadn’t). It also requires Congressional oversight and approval. Folks who understand politics — already knew this, champ.
A week ago, Trump said, “I want to put them (USSS) on notice because they should have a liability … I have by far the biggest crowds” (which you consistently artificially inflate after the fact). By publicly putting the USSS “on notice,” you have demonstrated yet again that you’re someone who feels entitled to something you apparently aren’t willing to work for — or don’t fully understand. In short, Trump is unqualified for the office he seeks.
Compare and contrast his attitude, with that of Dr. Carson (not that public displays of humility makes him any more qualified). “I don’t feel the need for it quite frankly, but the Secret Service thinks that I need it.” No, you’ve been advised to take stock of the realities of your current public profile, doc. You aren’t unique.
“I recognize that someone like me — who’s very truthful, and who really doesn’t subscribe to all the traditional power structures is probably gonna be a target.” Well, that was cagey, but cute, Ben. Anybody with a strong showing in the polling at this stage of a presidential campaign is going to attract their fair share of negative attention. There’s just no way to direct those crazy people to ‘the man behind the counter” this time around.
“I also think that there’s a God, but, you know, you have to be logical, so I will deal with it.” No, the USSS will “deal with it,” you just have to get used to a phalanx of dark-jacketed, earnest men with sidearms and Kevlar vests following you everywhere you go, doc.
A DHS spokesman confirmed earlier this afternoon that copies of the campaign’s requests were “under review pursuant to the statutorily required process.” Security teams will be assigned “after consultation with a congressional advisory committee which includes the speaker of the House, House minority leader, Senate majority leader, Senate minority leader and one additional member selected by the aforementioned committee.”
Any other time we need consensus from Boehner and Pelosi, and McConnell and Reid — you and I could expect to wait until half past forever. No doubt approval of this request will come much sooner.