Obama's Chicago retreat brings security challenges
When President-elect Barack Obama heads home for a break from the White House, he won't go to a sprawling ranch or private seaside compound.
Obama will come back to a crowded city neighborhood, creating security challenges for the Secret Service and perhaps headaches for his neighbors.
No other recent first family has lived in a city neighborhood like the Obama's. The $1.6 million mansion he and his wife share with their two daughters sits just off a busy street, a stretch of which has been closed to traffic, and his closest neighbors are a few feet away.
His busy South Side neighborhood affords none of the privacy of President Bush's 1,600-acre Texas spread or Bush's father's seaside summer retreat in Kennebunkport, Maine. Ronald Reagan's White House in the West was his mountaintop Rancho del Cielo in California.
Like other presidents, Obama is sure to spend some of his down time at Camp David, the presidential retreat on a remote Maryland mountaintop, and in Hawaii, a regular vacation spot for him and where he spent much of his childhood.
For security reasons, the Obama's urban oasis already has changed. Their large red brick house doesn't have the benefit of being surrounded by acres of land, so the city streets near it look like a military zone with blocks-long metal and concrete barriers. Secret Service agents and police patrol the area
"My Kennebunkport is on the South Side of Chicago," Obama said in a recent interview with the Chicago Tribune. "Our friends are here. Our family is here. We are going to try to come back here as often as possible ... at least once every six weeks or couple months."
But Obama is a Chicago transplant whose campaign was rooted in the notion that he‘s not like the other guys, and living in an urban neighborhood near the University of Chicago is a symbol of that, said Paul Light, a presidential historian at New York University.
Maintaining strong ties to Chicago is one way Obama can stay in touch with the people who helped him get elected, Light said. "I don‘t think the public will take kindly toward any sort of signal that he is somehow losing touch with the outside world, that he‘s trapped on island Washington," Light said.
For security reasons, the Obamas‘ urban oasis already has changed. Their large red brick house doesn‘t have the benefit of being surrounded by acres of land like other presidential retreats, so the city streets near it look like a military zone with blocks-long metal and concrete barriers. Secret Service agents and police patrol the area.
Sounds like the Chicago transplant is giving his adopted city a lot of extra Homeland Security $$$$$......after all, his family is there, along with Ayers, Rev. Wright, etc.....better to keep your friends close.....and your (potential) enemies even closer.....
looking forward to the Chicago purges, soon comrades....soon!
The University of Chicago is patrolled by its own police, Chicago police, Cook Co. police, and Illinois State police. Years ago every corner had a phone box for calling police help, guaranteed within 1.5 minutes. During orientation, students were told UC was about as safe at night as Beirut. Just opening a phone box lights up a map in the campus security room because everything else around UC is very urban and multicultural. I think he meant, "the Family," if it's like the Chicago south side I heart.
Of course, with Obama's New New Deal, who'd want him whacked anyway?
Additional security only needed for a little while longer. After anointing the bulldozer can begin clearing debris (except UC) around Obama mansion. Then will begin the building of Obamagrad.
Looked up infernal machine. Is now called Dozer of the Damned. Purchased by one Pinkie O for undisclosed amount right after incident.
Is big and bad enough?
Your Humble Spiritual Advisor,