Friday, February 24, 2012

In the President's Secret Service By Ronald Kessler

Very interesting book on the "inside" of the Presidency.  I was shocked at how the presidents passed and present were very different than their public persona.  It was equally, if not more shocking, the opulence this person and his family lives in during their term as POTUS.  Albeit ONE of the highest positions in the representative republican government we live in, the POTUS lives a life that can only be envied by royalty.  This sadly is much of the driving force behind most of the candidates as of late (~100 years).

Mr. Kessler talks about the best and worst presidents to guard as well as their respective family members.  Some of the family members, including the first ladies, made it difficult at time to protect the POTUS.  Overall, some of the best include Laura Bush, Barbara Bush, Michelle Obama and some of the worst were Hilary Clinton,   Rosalyn Carter.

Mr. Kessler describes the budgetary nightmares once the Secret Service was moved from the management of the Treasure to DHS.  The attrition rate is incredible because of the working conditions.  Ironically some of the Presidents that spend their days advocating labor unions for the "working man" yet their own details do not get the same benefits as regular "non-union" workers.

This book coupled with a special I watched "Its good to be the president" truly disturbs me.  The opulent lives they live is unmatched by any "rich fat cat".  I would like to see a stronger SS and not so much of the other minutia.  I think the staffers can go to Kinko's to have invitation printed up; I do not think we need five full time calligraphers on the payroll.  Additionally, I do not think the WH needs to have fresh flowers every day.   This is either the cause or the goal of the corruption in politics.

It is a really good book but disturbing in many ways because we are programmed to believe that the Secret Service is an elite group of men and women that have this incredible work ethic, which is true, but we see how the department itself treats their employees, the internal politics, the cronysm, and budget short-falls. 

Paperback: 285 pages
Publisher: Broadway; Reprint edition (August 3, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 030746136X
ISBN-13: 978-0307461360

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