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The Secret Service Says Goodbye to Mitt Romney

NOVEMBER 08, 2012

At some point, early Wednesday morning, when Gov. Mitt Romney and family were tucked into bed, a quiet call went out on the radio channel used by his Secret Service agents: "Javelin, Jockey details, all posts, discontinue."

Of all the indignities involved in losing a presidential race, none is more stark than the sudden emptiness of your entourage. The Secret Service detail guarding Governor Romney since Feb 1. stood down quickly. He had ridden in a 15-car motorcade to the Intercontinental Hotel in Boston for his concession speech. He rode in a single-car motorcade back across the Charles River to Belmont. His son, Tagg, did the driving.

There is no formal guideline for the Secret Service agents in this situation; it's up to the discretion of the detail leader, who usually consults with the local police to make sure that his protectee's home won't be overrun by protestors and supporters all of a sudden.

But the Service leaves quickly. No more motorcades. No more rope lines. No more bubbles. Familiar faces disappear, never to be seen again.

In 2008, agents offered to see John McCain back to his ranch in Sedona, but McCain insisted on saying his good byes in his suite at the Biltmore Hotel. The next morning, McCain was seen driving his own car to get groceries. Had Romney won, everything would have been different. A full counter-assault team, "Hawkeye Javelin," was on stand-by in Boston, ready to supplement his detail. A team from the White House Communications Agency, which had been consulting with his informal transition team on secure space for intelligence briefings, was on hand too.

Romney has his family. When the race was close, agents would joke about the number of "j" words they'd need to come up with in order to give every one of his children, their wives, and all of their children code names. That's 29 people who would have received, if not protection, at least a protective survey and recommendations from the Service. Quietly, plans had already been put in place to assign protective details to all of them, just in case.

The Secret Service has had a hellish year. Not only has it been the busiest ever for the small agency, but it has been their most embarrassing since the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan in 1982. April's prostitution in scandal in Cartegana, Colombia threatened to demoralize the entity in charge of safeguarding the democratic process right on the eve of their active phase; two conventions, major foreign trips for the president, the presidential debates, the United Nations General Assembly, the campaign season itself (with sometimes more than a thousand agents and officers changing locations daily). An Inspector General's report has concluded that agents did not jeopardize the president's safety, but having spent time with agents over these past few months, their morale has been flagging. The public mockery takes it toll, even on silent soldiers.

And yet, for everything they were confronted with, the Service did its job. Protectees were protected 100 percent of the time. Several assassination plots were nipped in the bud. Thousands of events were secured, perfectly. Results matter, as we learned Tuesday night.

Though no one in the Service was rooting one way or the other for any particular candidate, at least not to colleagues or publicly, not having to secure the Romney family means that agents who have been working 12 hours shifts for eight weeks straight can take some time off before the inauguration. Families of many more agents will get them home for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

by Anonymousreply 1511/10/2012

Interesting article.

It doesn't seem like a good idea to pull the plug on the losing candidate's protection quite that quickly.

Look how worked-up the losing candidate's supporters are this time. I would think that an additional 48 or 72 hours of protection to allow everyone to cool down and come to grips with reality might be money well spent.

by Anonymousreply 111/08/2012

The other code word was: "Pussy" (the clubs were full of Repug girls who needed booze and hugs).

by Anonymousreply 211/10/2012

Bye bye, forever!

by Anonymousreply 311/10/2012

Ugh, so glad we're not wasting our tax money on giving each of those smirky sons Secret Service protection. They would have LOVED that ego boost. BYE BYE, BITCHES.

by Anonymousreply 411/10/2012

*sigh of relief*

by Anonymousreply 511/10/2012

[quote] It doesn't seem like a good idea to pull the plug on the losing candidate's protection quite that quickly. Look how worked-up the losing candidate's supporters are this time.

Oh well! Not the taxpayers' problem anymore.

by Anonymousreply 611/10/2012

Come on. Who wouldn't prefer to deal with and protect a family of four over a family of 29? How much did all of that protection cost anyway? R1, no one will lay a finger on Romney. Given his resources I'm sure he and the 28 of his family have superb security. Besides, leftists and liberals are too busy celebrating President Obama's win.

by Anonymousreply 711/10/2012

Why didn't one of his superpacs pay for his protection from the beginning?

by Anonymousreply 811/10/2012

Then Willard and company probably understand how his campaign workers felt when they found out their credit cards were cancelled and they had to pay their own cab fare and plane flights home. They were likely too self absorbed to get it.

by Anonymousreply 911/10/2012

[quote]He had ridden in a 15-car motorcade to the Intercontinental Hotel in Boston for his concession speech. He rode in a single-car motorcade back across the Charles River to Belmont. His son, Tagg, did the driving.

Smile.

by Anonymousreply 1011/10/2012

[quote]His son, Tagg, did the driving.

Romney has a kid with Palin?

by Anonymousreply 1111/10/2012

I'm sure Mitts magic underwear will protect him.

by Anonymousreply 1211/10/2012

[quote]I'm sure Mitts magic underwear will protect him.

Mitt, Ann, "the boys," advisors, campaign workers and supporters all Shitt their magic underwear on election night.

by Anonymousreply 1311/10/2012

Boo- freakin hoo! He should have been paying for his own security anyway. He was nobody while he was running for office.

by Anonymousreply 1411/10/2012

Tagg should have tied Mitt to the roof of his car.

by Anonymousreply 1511/10/2012
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