Two overzealous antidairy activists stormed the stage as former Vice President Joe Biden spoke to supporters in California on Tuesday, the night of his biggest triumphs in the presidential election.
A man intercepted the first woman to take the stage. Biden’s wife, Jill, jumped between the second protester and the former vice president.
Jill Biden grabbed the woman by the wrists and pushed her back. Symone Sanders, a campaign senior adviser, tackled the woman and with other staffers got her off stage.
No one was seriously injured, thank goodness.
It was terrifying incident that brought back memories of the 1968 assassination of Sen. Robert Kennedy at the celebration of his victory in the California primary.
The scary incident leads to two obvious thoughts.
First, whatever you think of Joe Biden, no one should doubt the courage of Jill Biden, who jumped between her husband and an unhinged zealot.
Second, the security of a leading presidential candidate should not depend on a spouse’s heroics.
After the Robert Kennedy assassination, federal law offered major presidential and vice presidential candidates Secret Service protection within 120 days of the general election — early July. The secretary of homeland security can offer to move that date forward after consulting with congressional leaders, but candidates are free to reject the security.
On Wednesday, the chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security called on the Trump administration to begin the review process immediately, saying Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders should get serious consideration for protection.
We agree and go further. The federal law should be extended to reflect the earlier onset of presidential politics. Four months before the general election is not sufficient protection. The cost of such security is insignificant compared to the potential catastrophe and disruption of our democratic processes it could prevent.
It’s a sad commentary that the people potentially in line to lead our nation become targets of the dangerous, the obsessively fervent and the deluded, but it is obviously true, and our nation should respond to that danger before it leads to tragedy.