Malia Obama and Sasha Obama have grown up in front of cameras. Paparazzi bombarded the pair on a recent rendezvous at LAX. How could this happen? Shouldn’t the secret service have been there to stop it? As one would expect from a centuries-old agency, it’s complicated.
Obama Airport Reunion
In photos snapped by TMZ, we know Malia and Sasha Obama just reunited at LAX. Malia was flying in and Sasha was there waiting for her. The two busted out a little reunion dance at the gate, and Sasha helped her sister load up her luggage. Malia is working as a screenwriter now while Sasha is reportedly attending USC.
The video is cute and all, but it raises some serious questions about safety. The paparazzi was able to get dangerously close to the former First Daughters. It left some on Twitter wondering where the secret service is in all of this.
Another hoped the Presidential security detail was just lurking out of sight.
Former Presidents Act
Time for a bit of a history lesson. The secret service was established by Abraham Lincoln in 1865 to help crack down on the epidemic of counterfeit currency. When William McKinley got assassinated in 1901, the organization shifted its focus to presidential protection.
Since then, protection has gradually increased. Presidents received lifetime protection beginning in 1965. While Bill Clinton revised it down to just 10 years post office, Barack Obama reinstated the lifetime guarantee decades later. As for presidential children, it depends on the president.
The Former Presidents Protection Act of 2012 states children of Presidents will receive protection until they turn 16. Since Malia and Sasha are both in their 20s now, that’s the logical explanation for why there was no security.
Moving forward, the kind of protection a family can expect post-presidency largely depends on the specific president. Donald Trump ensured his adult children would receive Secret Service protection for six months after he left office.
There Are Other Options
While Barack will always be protected by the Secret Service, his daughters no longer receive the same guaranteed protection. Personal security is always an option. One only needs to look at Prince Harry to see that in action. He and Meghan Markle are actually guarded by one of Obama’s former Secret Service agents. What a small world.
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