Protecting POTUS


Author Ronald Kessler seems like a serious enough fellow. He’s written books like Inside the White House, The CIA at War, etc and has won sixteen journalism awards.  His latest book In the President’s Secret Service is the only book about the Secret Service to receive official cooperation but to be honest it reads like The National Enquirer.

POTUS stands for President of the United States but the book provides precious little on protecting the US president, instead it reveals lots of interesting snippets and gossip about US presidents and their families:

  • LBJ engaged in extensive philandering. He was a crude bastard, even peeing in front of reporters.
  • LBJ was so well hung “when LBJ goes to the ranch, the bulls hang their heads in shame. This guy had a tool you wouldn’t believe.”
  • Jimmy Carter is a hypocrite of the highest order – he likes to be seen carrying his own luggage and starting work early – in reality he does that only in front of cameras and he would go to his office at 5am, only to sleep, giving the impression that he starts his day early for the American people.
  • “If the true measure of a man is how he treats the little people, Carter flunked the test.”
  • Amy Carter would crush and throw cookie crumbs all over the floor – she delighted in bullying Secret Service agents but one of them saved her life by scooping her up when a three-ton elephant charged at her.
  • “The brattiest offspring of a president was Amy Carter.”
  • Carter’s second oldest son, James Earl “Chip” Carter III is one of the least liked. “Chip was out of control. Marijuana, liquor, chasing women.”
  • Richard Nixon didn’t seem to talk in private. He didn’t’ seem to talk to his wife. They didn’t hold hands, unlike the Reagans.
  • Bill Clinton’s a real charming guy but Hillary’s a super bitch.
  • Once Hilary’s campaign staff planned a visit to a 4-H club in diary farm country in upstate New York. As they approached the outdoor event and she saw people dressed in jeans and surrounded by cows, Hillary flew into a rage. “She turned to a staffer and said, ‘What the [expletive] did we come here for? There’s no money here,’” a Secret Service agent remembers.
  • When Bill Clinton went for his knee operation the entire surgical crew showed up – every surgeon in the hospital wanted a part in the surgery so it was done assembly-line style, one would do an incision, the next one would expose a tendon, the next in line would cut the tendon, and the next would do something else, just so each could claim to have performed surgery on the President of the United States!
  • George W Bush’s twin daughters were real terrors – using fake IDs to buy booze, among other acts of mischief. “It is hard to believe one of them is a teacher by day.”
  • Bush is a different, very likeable guy in private but in public he becomes stiff and unnatural.
  • Without her contact lens, Laura Bush is almost as blind as a bat. She’s a very nice person. Secret Service agents like her a lot.
  • In general, agents find the Bush administration to be much more friendly and appreciative of what agents do than most other administrations.
  • Ronald Regan was a nice guy, but Nancy is a control freak.
  • Dick Cheney’s daughter Mary is another bitch but this wife Lynne is very well-liked.
  • Like the Bushes, Dick and Lynne Cheney are always on time and were well-respected by the Secret Service. The Cheneys invite agents and their families to the Christmas party they give every year and take photos with them. (This surprises me – I always thought Dick Cheney is a cold-blooded butcher.)
  • When Al Gore was bawling out his son over poor performance at school, he warned him, “If you don’t straighten up, you won’t get into the right schools, and if you don’t get into the right schools, you could end up like these guys” – referring to Secret Service agents guarding them.
  • Though he tries to give the impression that he has given up smoking, Obama continues to smoke even till today, the “Renegade” (Obama’s code name) is a nice guy inviting Secret Service to share meals and Michelle Obama (code name “Renaissance”) is also very nice – “Michelle is friendly – she touches you,” an agent says.
  • “If Obama is running late, Michelle gets on his case, saying he is being inconsiderate of his agents.”
  • The Clintons are always late. Secret agents refer to what they call “Clinton Standard Time” – one to two hours behind.
  • Joe Biden is also well-liked. “The Bidens buy agents food and get to know everyone by name.”
  • “Karl Rove has a phenomenal reputation within the Service, taking care of the guys,” another agent says. “Andy Card, same thing.”
  • Agents consider Bush’s Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge the cheapest protectee they had ever known. The book tells you why.
  • John Snow, Treasury Secretary under Bush, kept a mistress, and expects the Secret Service to cover up for him.
  • Code names are given to each protectee – Lynne Cheney, a successful author is “Author” and Dick, who likes fishing is “Angler”. George W Bush objected to “Tumbler” (the book tells you why) and was renamed “Trailblazer”. Josh Bolton is “Fatboy”(and not because he’s fat) and Transport Secretary Elaine Chao didn’t like to be called “Fireplug” and was renamed “Firebird.” The media claims that Bill Clinton’s troublesome brother was codenamed “Headache” but that’s not true – the book says he has no codename because he is not entitled to Secret Service protection.
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