Don’t get too excited. Tonight is the last debate of the 2008 presidential campaign, not the last presidential campaign debate ever.
I was going to say that the security in the area surrounding the Hofstra University is extraordinary, but it’s really the norm. It’s pretty damned hard to get within a mile of the debate site and it’s been that way since the most public part of the security plan was put into effect at 5:00 AM this morning.
There was a time in this country, where if you wanted to see the Presidential candidates in person, you could find out where they were going to be and stand by a road to watch them ride by waving to the crowd from the backseat of a convertible. Heck, there was a time you could knock on the door of the White House and maybe get to talk to the President. Abe Lincoln did some of that during the Civil War. All security around Presidents and Presidential candidates tightened up after President Kennedy was killed, of course.
I’d hate to think anyone wants to hurt these men badly enough to justify all this security. There aren’t many who do, and one would be too many, but the security is justifiable. While there’s probably a very low chance of anything untoward happening, anything anyone can do to reduce that risk even farther is a good idea.
And that’s not just a fact of life, it’s also sad.