Fresh off a fabulous Twitter debut, the Secret Service could now be tasked with protecting presidential candidates from that most dangerous of weapons — the glitterbomb.
AP via HuffPost:
When a prankster dumped a box of glittering confetti in Newt Gingrich's lap at a book-signing, the presidential candidate brushed off the stunt with a smile and quipped that it was "nice to live in a free country."Right. From people with guns. Or knives. Bombs strapped to their chests. Crazed looks.
But the man's easy access to Gingrich raises questions about security on the campaign trail, particularly in the early months before the Secret Service begins guarding candidates. And the first events of the 2012 campaign are playing out just a few months after the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
For White House hopefuls, security is always a delicate balance between protection and accessibility.
"No one wants police barricades separating them from a candidate," said Mark Daley, a Democratic consultant who worked on Hillary Clinton's campaign in 2008. "There is no question that campaigns have to be accessible. It's a turnoff to some voters if they don't get a chance to meet with a candidate."
Long before the January attack on Giffords, security was a concern for politicians who know they have to confront a sometimes-angry public.
"The grim reality is our elected officials put themselves in harm's way every day," said Tim Albrecht, a GOP consultant who worked with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's Iowa campaign in 2008. "There is no way you can stop something from happening, but you do as much as you can to keep your candidate as safe as possible."
Gingrich and his current wife were "attacked" by a guy who shook Gingrich's hand, posed for a photo and then urged, "Feel the rainbow, Newt! Stop the hate! Stop anti-gay politics!" as he shook glitter out of a cracker box. The soon-to-be ex-candidate and his possible next ex-wife didn't appear to feel threatened as they sat still and brushed the sparkles out of their mildly frightening hair.
Despite its troubles with tweeting, The Secret Service (still not following anyone, shame!) totally could have taken down the glitterbomber. If, you know, he'd actually been dangerous.