Rank hath its privilege... so the saying goes
...And in the case of
Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), it becomes obvious that those who make
the rules have little interest in following them.
Last Friday, Harkin, running late, rushed through Washington's
Reagan National Airport and encountered a long line at the security
gates (please note that the words "long lines" now seems synonymous
with the concept of airport security). Invoking his rank as a
member of the Senate, Harkin was hustled to the front of the line,
in front of a number of upset travelers who aren't members of
Congress, and managed to get on a flight that he would otherwise
Already taking flak for his use/abuse of "privilege," the spin
control machinery is in high gear. Harkin's press secretary,
Allison Dobson, claimed that Harkin was needed to cast votes for
amendments to the Medicare prescription drug bill and his staying
to do his job made him late. The result was that Harkin showed up
at DCA with only 15 minutes to spare before the Midwest Express
flight, the only one of the kind for the day, departed for Des
Had Harkin not jumped to the head of the line, an American
Airlines flight would have been available a bit later... but would
have caused him to miss three events that he was scheduled to
Dobson claimed that, "Senator Harkin really wanted to
get to Des Moines and really didn't want to disappoint everybody...
When he got to the Midwest Express gate, he said, 'Boy, I'm really
late,' and so they escorted him to the head of the security
Dobson did add that Harkin "felt bad" that other people were
waiting while he left them in his 'six.'
"I think he was really concerned about disappointing people at
three events," she added. Yeah -- and missing his flight, and
standing in line, and taking off his shoes, and dumping out his
ANN has sent an inquiry to TSA to get some documentation on how
important one must be, or how important one's appointments are, in
order to circumvent the security apparatus at an airport like DCA.
Mind you, this is the same airport where GA is pretty much banned
from operating due to the perception of risk that they pose. Hmmm.
We'll let you know if they respond...