The Secret Service had its hands full today dealing with what could be nothing, or could be something serious, but definitely put them on high alert.
On Saturday morning, what should have been a routine departure aboard Marine One for President Obama and his family turned dramatic when a “loud noise” caused the Secret Service to scrub the departure, and lock all of the reporters in the White House briefing room. The drama played out in a series of pool reports from Hearst’s David McCumber, and on Twitter:
10:15 am – As pool and other press gathered outside near the South Lawn for the departure of President Obama and he First Family on the way to Selma, Ala., for a historic 50th anniversary march, a loud noise was heard. Secret Service then moved press back into the briefing room and locked the doors. Will advise as situation develops.
There was some sort of fire not far from the White House at that time:
The fire wasn't the only issue Secret Service agents were dealing with. Bomb-sniffing dogs had also detected something at 16th St and Constitution Avenue.
Ultimately, plans to depart via Marine One were scrapped in favor of an Andrews Air Force base departure.
Given the historical significance of today's observance of Selma's 50th anniversary, it wasn't unreasonable of the Secret Service to take an abundance of caution. I'm glad the First Family is marching today, but I admit to a fair amount of concern about it, too.