The first lady packs a wallop, so president feels pretty secure

THE FLIP SIDE

November 03, 1994|By Kevin Cowherd | Kevin Cowherd,Sun Staff Writer

To: All Security Personnel

From: Bill Clinton

Re: White House Protection

As you know, another deranged individual, quite likely a Republican, has threatened the well-being of the president of the United States and his family.

In this latest incident, a man fired 20 or 30 rounds from an assault rifle at the White House before being subdued by two tourists. As a token of appreciation, I have authorized that both these brave citizens receive complimentary "Welcome to Our Nation's Capital!" ballpoint pens. But now we must address the larger issues posed by this incident.

All I can say is, thank God Hillary wasn't here or the shooter would have been dead meat. You all know Hillary. She would have grabbed her own semiautomatic from under the bed and squeezed off a few rounds at the gunman and yelled: "C'mon, sucker, bring it on!"

Clearly, my wife has a bit of a temper. Once when we were walking in Little Rock, a man with a gun approached us and growled: "This is a stickup!"

Naturally, my first instinct was to scream "She's got the money!" and dive behind the nearest Dumpster.

But Hillary, she grabbed the guy by the lapels and threw him against the wall and screamed: "I'll rip your lungs out!"

Can you imagine? Where do you suppose that anger comes from?

In any event, I don't need to remind you that only last September, another unhinged individual, also thought to have been a Republican and possibly even related to Bob Dole, crashed his plane onto the White House lawn.

Both these incidents have made the Clinton family mighty jittery. I myself am over-eating again and Chelsea, pale and withdrawn, no longer does her Amy Carter impersonations at the dinner table.

Hillary, meanwhile, has taken to patrolling the upstairs halls in battle fatigues, with thick camouflage paint on her face and her weapon at the ready.

As a concerned father and husband, I must do everything to ensure my family's protection. I also don't want to see Hillary, who has grown increasingly skittish and trigger-happy, mistakenly winging one of the maids or, God forbid, Leon Panetta (as almost happened last night!)

Obviously there is no desire here to see the White House, a leading symbol of our nation's democracy, declared off-limits to the public.

As Hillary said last night while setting up a string of Claymore mines around the patio, the American people must know that their president does not live in fear.

Yet given the number of dangerous individuals out there (many of them Republicans) could we not consider the following security measures?

* As viewed from Pennsylvania Avenue, the broad White House lawn offers an inviting path for any would-be assailant. This would change with the installation of coiled concertina wire atop the fences and anti-intrusion devices, along with punji sticks dipped in animal dung, Malaysian tree swings, etc., concealed in strategic locations.

For selfish reasons, I'm also hoping that the occasional wail of an injured intruder and the excitement of the capture will help bring Chelsea out of her shell.

* Given our obvious vulnerability to airborne attack, a full battery of Scud and Patriot missiles should be deployed from atop the White House.

These could be artfully decorated to resemble giant spruce trees, Douglas firs or sequoias, in keeping with this administration's commitment to environmental awareness.

In addition, a tactical fighter squadron now on standby at Andrews Air Force Base would be scrambled immediately for round-the-clock patrols through restricted White House air space, with orders to fire on any strange aircraft.

I have asked Hillary to coordinate close-inspection fly-overs at 0800, 1600 and 2400 hours via a portable head-set; her thumbs-up signal from the portico of the main entrance releases the jets to resume normal patrol.

* Use of the vice president as presidential stand-in (read: decoy) on White House grounds.

As you know, the vice president's duties consist mainly of fishing a dark suit out of his closet, jumping on a plane, and attending the funeral of whichever foreign head of state happens to have died recently. Consequently, if the unthinkable should happen, the nation would continue to function with an injury-free president, full of his customary vim and vigor.

He is a loyal American, Al Gore. I am certain he would embrace this opportunity to serve his country.

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