What is it with folks and their fascination with Obama’s high target status?
From Esquire’s press release:
DETAILS is releasing our DETAILS Power List- the 40 Most Influential Men in the World. Who’s #1? Obama’s Secret Service Agent claims the #1 spot on the DETAILS Power List, who, according to DETAILS, is the only thing standing between the free world and a catastrophe. Yes, it’s amazing to witness the historic, anything-can-happen triumph of Barack Obama, but “anything can happen” is precisely what we need to be worried about. As America’s first black president-elect, explains DETAILS, Obama is a walking provocation to racists everywhere.
I know Details just wants to be “different” from the other magazines, like Esquire and GQ who have been French kissing hope to sling copies ever since he announced his candidacy, but giving the Secret Service props because Barack Obama is such a huge target both politically and symbolically is kind of lame.
It’s also a wee morose while at the same time saying that all American presidents relatively meaningless assassination-wise until Obama. One could argue that being the leader of the wealthiest nation with the most expensive and technologically advanced military AND having oodles of influence at home and abroad already makes you a walking target for fear and loathing. Blackness is merely an added “wow” factor.
While Obama freaks out the racists something plentiful, of the presidents who have either been assassinated or survived the attempts there was an extremely high number of rogue nutjobs. President McKinley was shot by an anarchist. President Ronald Reagan was shot by a deranged Jodie Foster/Taxi Driver stalker/fan. While, the wackadoodle number is up with Obama, every president has to deal with it. I don’t think the Secret Service deserves any extra points for getting a black guy this time.
Here’s some from the actual article:
Let’s face it: The audacity of hope is about to be tested by the tenacity of fear. Yes, it’s amazing to witness the historic, anything-can-happen triumph of Barack Obama’s 21st-century march on Washington, but if you’re old enough to remember the black-and-white flicker of mid-20th-century TV footage you know that the concept “anything can happen” is precisely what we need to be worried about. As America’s first black president-elect, Obama is a walking provocation to racists everywhere. Maybe for a while you had faith that the country was past all that—but then you heard those voices from the rabid mob barking “Kill him!” at Sarah Palin’s and John McCain’s rallies, and instantly the ghosts of JFK and RFK and MLK and Malcolm X began to float on the horizon. “Some idiot out there’s going to put a bullet in that silver-tongued devil and then there’ll be a race war,” Thomas Stevenson, an Atlanta carpenter, told the Roswell Beacon in late May—which inspired an illustration featuring Obama in the crosshairs of a rifle. And it wasn’t just “real Americans” like Tom the Carpenter who provided revealing blurts from the collective subconscious. Doris Lessing, the Nobel laureate, mused to a Swedish newspaper, “Obama would certainly not last long, a black man in the position of president. They would murder him.” All of which means that a tremendous burden rests on the blue line of Barack Obama’s security detail.
FYI: Don’t take this list super seriously. It’s the end of the year and every magazine will be slapping together these sorts of rankings and Details, Vanity Fair, Esquire, Vogue, et al, have to do their darnedest to write something that will get some buzz. Along with anonymous secret service guy, Details adds the following to their purposely unconventional list: “The National Enquirer Reporter,” all Palin’s men (husband, sons and the guy who knocked her daughter up), singer John Mayer (for being a “press whore.” Their words. Not mine), Lil Wayne, Guns N’ Roses long-delayed released “Chinese Democracy,” Thomas Beatie, the “Pregnant Man” who isn’t a man, and a bunch of other folks who make no sense.