Curious Toddler Crashes White House Lawn, Triggering A Lockdown
Well, that explains it. As you may have heard, President Obama gave an address on Iraq's ongoing crisis regarding ISIS Thursday night, announcing that he'd authorized U.S. airstrikes against the Islamic militant group. And, as is a somewhat familiar feeling for members of the press, things got a little delayed. But don't go blaming this one on the President, because now we know why — a toddler got loose on the White House lawn just prior to the address, forcing a security lockdown while the Secret Service retrieved the little guy and returned him to his parents.
The President's tardiness is a particularly appropriate issue at the moment. The Washington Post's Philip Bump led the way Thursday, detailing the sum total of Obama's lateness throughout 2014 — a whopping 35 hours of people anxiously awaiting his appearance.
Taken on average, however, it's nowhere near as dire, with a normal Obama appearance including just 11 minutes of tardiness. Which, considering he's (arguably) got the world's most stressful job, and is making public appearances more or less constantly, seems like a completely fair margin of error. Especially since security concerns can sometimes get in the way, just like they did when that curious young'un slipped through the bars of the White House gate.
According to USA Today, Secret Service spokesperson Edwin Donovan was in rare, good humor about this front gate security breach. Normally you wouldn't get a glimmer of a joke out of these guys when somebody got onto the White House lawn, but who doesn't love an adventurous kid?
So remember, if somebody turns up claiming that Obama was late to Thursday's address — to their credit, the @HowLateWasObama Twitter account didn't ding him for last night — you can tell them "hell no, it was the kid's fault!"
Though really, maybe the solution here is to stress a little bit less about the President's scheduling wiggle-room. After all, you wouldn't want to start irresponsibly speculating about his psychology, now would you (looking at you, Jennifer Rubin)? if this story goes to show anything, it's that you can never be sure what might get in the way of a prompt arrival. And seriously, 11 minutes per event isn't so bad — it's not like he's Bill De Blasio, after all.
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