Here’s Hoping: Why no one will try (well, succeed) to kill [President] Obama
It is incredibly hard to kill a US president. Well, at least it is these days. If Kennedy had had a hardtop and Lincoln cheaper seats, US political history would read much differently. These days, we hear chatter about Barak Obama and assassination attempts. I will officially go on record as saying that this is something that most Americans don’t need to worry about because certain Americans get paid to go to work to worry about it.
When John Hinckley Jr. took a shot at Reagan (six, actually), he managed to hit everything but Reagan, the President’s wounds being caused by a ricochet. Though this in no way makes James Brady feel better, I can guarantee you that the next day at the Treasury Department, the meetings held within the Secret Service weren’t about crossing their fingers and wishful thinking that it wouldn’t happen again; policies were changed. The Secret Service investigates every threat made against the President of the United States (given that a Google word search of “assassination US President” will bring up this blog entry, they’ll be reading it too. Hope you like it guys.).
Now it doesn’t take a huge leap of faith or imagination to concede that there are a number of “groups” in the US that would love to take a shot at Mr. Obama (I’ll hold off on the official title until it is, in fact, official), but with that being said, I highly doubt their capacity to achieve one. Although it seems that, as of late, American intelligence agencies operate much like Patrick Roy plays goal (doesn’t make a whole lot of mistakes but the ones he does are huge), I think they will have this situation under control.
It is safer for a US president to hop out of Cadillac One for a coffee than it is to hold a rally. Sure, there is more security in place at a rally, but no one expects the President to stop for a coffee. Assassins don’t like surprises and are usually ill-equipped to deal with them. Also, anyone who stalks a president for any amount of time, hoping for a coffee run, would be found out and dealt with.
On the other hand, there are governments who’d love to take a swipe at the US President but wouldn’t for the same reason the IRA didn’t go after a member of the Royal Family after the Mountbatten incident. If the US has proved anything in the last eight years, it is that it is not wise to piss off a nation that will trounce on you for the sheer joy of it. I concede that the Americans haven’t actually won a war in almost 60 years but they sure excel at killing people. Plus, killing a US president is an act of war that all western nations would probably rally behind: people don’t like people who pick fights.
I guess the long and the short of it is very simple: those who want to can’t and those who can probably wouldn’t. It is just not worth it.
As far as Mr. Obama is concerned, if he isn’t the “Candidate of Change,” his own political machinations will kill off a long career faster than a high-powered rifle round. Whatever the results, I wish the man the best of luck and offer my sincere congratulations.