I have been waiting for a president of my party to be elected so that I can say, without having my motives questioned, that the American taxpayers now pay far too much for the trappings of office.
Since I don't know when we'll have a president of my party, I am glad Queen Elizabeth has–wth a gesture–said it for me:
The Queen banned Obama from landing a dozen helicopters at Windsor Castle because last time he visited six of them ruined the lawn. The 90-year-old monarch is said to have told aides the helicopters were ‘over the top’ and they would be limited to three.
US Secret Service claimed it needed all twelve so agents could be in close proximity to the President when he came to the castle on Friday. The service also demanded to post guards inside the private dinner with the Queen and Obama, presumably to prevent the pensioner attacking the President.
Commenting on the three helicopter limit an insider told the Daily Star newspaper: “Various US aides said that wouldn’t be possible. The President has a small army of Secret Service agents who follow him all over.
“They said they needed to be within reach of the President at all times. They also wanted guards posted inside the dining hall when he had lunch with the Queen. But Her Majesty refused to back down and said, ‘three helicopters only’.
“The Secret Service had to go away and think about their plan. The President’s officials were told that the Queen regarded Windsor Castle as her family home and the most important of all royal residences.
“They were told that the Queen was particularly sensitive to any potential damage to the castle and grounds. Eventually the President’s aides accepted her wishes. She rarely imposes her will but when she does people listen – it just took the US Secret Service agents a little time to realize that.”
Please do not bother to argue that the president needed twelve helicopters to be safe at Windsor Castle. Nobody is going to believe that.
Like the hotel bills our "servants" present us with for useless conferences, this is about living large–larger than royalty.
We provide a mighty nice historical house for our presidents and we want them to live with dignity.
But having an unnecessary retinue that would put a potentate to shame is another matter.
Pomp without dignity is a sign of decay.