Jay Carney, Mr Obama’s press secretary, said: “To go so far as to make the safety of the president’s children the subject of an attack ad is repugnant and cowardly”.
The challenge facing Mr Obama was demonstrated vividly on the eve of his announcement when the National Rifle Association (NRA) released a provocative television advertisement The clip, which accused Mr Obama of being an “elitist hypocrite” for trying to restrict public access to guns while protecting his children with armed officers, was sharply criticised by the White House.
“Are the president’s kids more important than yours?”, the 35-second advertisement’s narrator asked, in a deep, film-trailer-style voice. “Then why is he sceptical about putting armed guards in our schools when his kids are protected by armed guards at their school?”
Damned effective though.
Do note, the point being made is not that the Obama children are protected by the Secret Service. It is that the school that they attend has, completely separate from anything to do with the Obamas, some 11 armed guards on the campus. Something that does indeed leave the elite parents open to charges of something approaching hypocrisy.