The developing story about a Virginia couple that apparently “gatecrashed” the White House state dinner for the Prime Minister of India is pretty disturbing. According to the new reports, the couple did not have an invitation but showed up at the event in their formal wear, went through screening, and had their pictures taken with President Obama and Vice President Biden. Of course, this being modern America, we now learn that the woman in the couple has dreams of being on some kind of reality show about wealthy housewives in D.C.
Fortunately, nothing bad happened, other than a bit of embarrassment. Still, this is not just a weird story about a mischievous prank. If I were chief of staff for the President I would make sure that some heads rolled. The Secret Service has one of the most important jobs in the federal government, and the notion that individuals without an invitation could crash a scheduled event — where the security undoubtedly was planned and set up far in advance — is just unacceptable. It suggests lapses in procedure and general incompetence that can only encourage other people, with different potential goals, to try similar stunts. President Obama has a tough enough job without having to worry about whether security screenings are being done properly and strangers are roaming the White House.