As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Finally, Some Accountability

In a rare decision to dump an underperforming subordinate, President Obama today fired Secret Service Director Julia Pierson, who presided over an agency that had allowed a deranged man to run amuck in the White House.

Interestingly, the unusual and unprecedentedly swift holding-to-account occurred when the matter concerned the president’s own personal safety. Nevertheless, it’s good to see him acting like a chief executive. And we are all, even his toughest critics, genuinely concerned about his safety and that of his family.

Julia_Pierson_USSSIt appears the news that a felon with a firearm was permitted in an elevator with the president – and that Pierson didn’t tell the White House about it – was the final straw for her. It’s not clear if she would have been fired based on the fence jumper alone.

By quickly dispensing of Pierson, Obama also helped quell yet another furor erupting over shoddy management practices within his administration and nipped in the bud what would surely have been growing criticism, even from Democrats, for his failure to remove her.

The White House offered the customary “accepted her resignation” narrative one hears in Washington and the corporate world, but in reality it did little to hide that she was fired.

Said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest:

Over last several days, we’ve seen recent and accumulating reports raising questions about the performance of the agency, and the president concluded that new leadership of that agency was required.

Even this morning, the White House was proclaiming Obama’s confidence in Pierson. But Earnest made clear the elevator incident was part of the “accumulating” evidence of a problem that caused Obama to change his mind.

Earnest signaled unhappiness with the failure of the Secret Service to alert the White House.

I can tell you that the White House first learned of that incident yesterday afternoon shortly before it was reported by news organizations.

It would be accurate for you to assume that when incidents like that occur, that there would be a pretty open channel between the United States Secret Service, the Department of Homeland Security, and the White House.

The White House appointed the former head of the president’s Secret Service detail, Joseph Clancy, to serve as acting director while a replacement is found.

We all have experienced at work the feeling that our bosses rarely compliment us for a job well done, but that they get all on our back when we screw up. The Secret Service is the ultimate such job. When nothing happens to the president, nobody cares. Problem? Everyone cares. That’s the nature of this beast.

If you a preside over a presidential security detail that allows criminals with guns to stand next to the president and someone with a knife to make it deep into the White House, then you have to be relieved of your duties.

22 Responses to Finally, Some Accountability

  1. She failed. She should have been fired. The Secret Service needs to be at the top of their game in protecting the President.

    If it did not involve his personal safety and the safety of his family it is difficult to believe that this “resignation”/firing would have happened. I do expect her to be absorbed into the Administration elsewhere. Much like the out of sight Victoria Nuland.

  2. I listened to Josh answer questions today from one of the reporters. From the Q&A, I understood that she resigned. I didn’t hear the fact that she was going to be fired. I must have misunderstood.

  3. When MrO attends the Hispanics Gala thingy tomorrow, he might ask them to have a talk with their people and advise them not to jump the fence at the WhiteHouse as it’s not like the fence at our southern border where you get a free pass, a hot drink, and a nice bed to sleep in.

    NewsLede: With the wheels coming off at the Secret Service station, it may be time for President Obama to apply for a handgun permit. Of course in DC he will have to jump through a bunch of hoops. Hopefully, the DC deciders will consider his current situation and will help Obama out at least until his protectors get organized.
    If DC turns him down, as they have thousands of other folks, perhaps Michelle could apply. Surely the DC Democrats do not want to be accused of “waging war on women”. One way of providing proof positive would be to license Michelle to carry a gun. Of course she spends a lot of time in federal government buildings and, in fact, lives in one so it is unclear just how that particular restriction would be finessed. On the other hand, Obama is able to circumvent federal law almost daily and he disregards the Constitution with impunity so he will probably find a loophole. Then again, he may just ignore the whole permit process. After all, a failure by either the President or the First Lady to shoot well enough to qualify would really be an embarrassment. We don’t know about her, but certainly Obama has never been known as a straight shooter.
    Editor’s Note: While the above is a bit tongue-in-cheek, we must acknowledge that Washington is full of folks who never have armed protection yet their local government leaders are so obsessed with fighting gun ownership and carry rights they make personal and family safety virtually impossible. This is in spite of of one court decision after another.

    • As a CCW permit holder, I would bet that the Obamas would fail to pass the background check that is required by us “folks” in real world. The background check/vetting which was never done when he ran for office.

  5. At least he finally fired someone for not doing their job. As much as I don’t like most of his policies, he and the family should be protected. The wheels are coming off the secret service bus.

  6. Well. The IRS is a total mess of problems & liars. I’d like a fraction of this indignation shown towards their “leaders”.
    Of course I care if the pres is safe. Consistency would look nice too.

  7. Nothing new about this. obama learns about everything from the media. Why should anyone be surprised that was the first time he knew about this. Also, maybe the first time he learned about isis.

  8. Ironic that the performance of Ms Pierson seems to have been inspired by her very own “top management” – casual attitude about the seriousness of her job, failure to lock things down, when things go wrong generalize & cover up, commend the staff for “trying their best” and for “showing restraint” … Who does that remind me of??

    Seriously, when the Commander sets this type of example, why should we be surprised when things fail at all levels. Now we also hear that the Dallas nurse sent the Ebola patient home on his first hospital visit with some meds, “call me in the morning” advice, and promptly failed to make a serious report to the staff, even though the guy told her he just came in from Liberia! I suspect now some cover-up is in place and we won’t really know how many he came in contact with. Well, I guess the nurse tried her best too.