OPINION: You Shouldn’t Lift the President of the United States
You probably saw something about this earlier in the week. While visiting a Pizzeria in Florida, President Barack Obama was first hugged then lifted off the ground by the owner, a man named Scott Van Druzer.
Nice job, Secret Service. Seriously, were you guys already chowing on some cheesy-bread or was there an Oriental Massage Parlor next door?!?
I wasn't surprised when this pizza guy started catching grief about it. I was surprised, though, about who he was catching it from: Republicans! Republicans started going on line and giving the restaurant poor reviews but, according to published reports, Obama supporters responded by giving POSITIVE reviews!
I had it all wrong. I thought it would be the DEMS who would be outraged by this incident.
In my opinion, you should never lift the President of the United States off the ground. I'm not 100% comfortable with the hugging but, in fairness, Obama kind of initiated that. But lifting a President into the air??? Let's just say "You wouldn't have tried that with Calvin Coolidge, would you"?
I did an exhaustive Google Image search for any evidence of anyone ever lifting a sitting POTUS and I came up with nothing. Not. One. Single. Image.
What follows are some of the photos I did find of presidents not being lifted (you'll notice all of them have something in common...not being black).
Let's start at the beginning and work our way to the present...
First, George Washington....
Look at that commanding demeanor. This is the kind of president who would never bow to a Sultan or curtsey to a Queen or any of the other namby-pamby tom-foolery our current president has engaged in. More than anything else, though, Washington's bearing communicates one simple message: "If any man here tries to lift ME, so help me God, I will take my fashionable tri-cornered hat and use my walking stick to shove it up your poop hole like a musket ball into one of our armies new, high-tech flintlocks!"
Next, Abraham Lincoln....
As you can see by this photo-realistic woodcut, someone once was foolish enough to try to lift Ole Honest Abe. And what did he get for his troubles? The Great Emancipator "emancipated" this punks feet from the earth!! Now THAT is a president you can respect: 6'4", nothing but muscle and sinew and able to destroy an army of vampires with nothing but his trusty rail-splitter.
So complete was this would-be president hoister's humilitation that it would be more than 50 years before anyone tried again to lift a U.S. Chief Executive.
Which brings us to...William Howard Taft.
It did not end well. The ill-fated POTUS-presser was killed in the attempt and President Taft went on to many great accomplishments during his term such as, getting stuck in the White House bathtub and appearing in the movie The Greatest Game Ever Played with Shia LaBeouf.
We jump ahead to the year 1970. TV audiences were laughing at the antics of The Brady Bunch, the Apollo 13 splashed down safely in the Pacific, and versatile entertainer Sammy Davis Jr. attempted to lift President Richard Nixon.
Davis exerted himself for over 20 minutes but ultimately failed to lift Nixon off his feet. Three years later, almost to the day, Sammy Davis Jr. was executed at Lompoc Federal Penitentiary.
You'd think a death sentence would be enough to dissuade anyone from every again attempting to lift a U.S. President. You would be wrong, though, because it happened again in 1981.
First Lady Nancy Reagan, until this past week, was the last person to attempt to lift a president off his feet. Eyewitnesses who were there that day at President Reagan's retreat in Santa Barbara say that the First Lady came very close to lifting her husband. According to Reagan's Chief of Staff, Jim Baker "Nancy had him all the way up on his tippy-toes". At the last minute, however, the female naval attache ( seen in the photo above) sprang into action, bludgeoning Mrs. Reagan to death with her gigantic walkie-talkie.
Reagan narrowly avoided becoming the first president to suffer the ignominy of being lifted off his feet. Now, more than 30 years later, that disgraceful distinction belongs to our current man in the White House, Barack H. Obama.
Is it any wonder we can't intimidate the Chinese anymore?