Mitchell Reports | January 23, 2013
>>> and the nra is going on offense against the president's call for gun laws , while refusing to back down from a controversial web ad that focused on the obama daughters and their school. many people feel that ad crossed a line, an important line. one of those is susan eisenhower , who was protected by the secret service when her grandfather was in the white house . great to see you, susan. you and your brother, david, were in the white house as grandchildren, in fact, not very widely known fact, camp david was named after david.
>> that's correct.
>> by your grandfather. so, tell me about your objection to the web video and why you think that the nra went too far by suggesting that the obama daughters somehow, you know, have security and have benefits that are not available to others.
>> well, andrea, let me say very quickly, i've had a 30-year career in international security and arms control and energy security , but this gun control thing is a really tough issue, and it's tough because it's emotional. what the nra has done is to make it even more emotional by bringing in ancillary arguments about the elite and how well-protected they are, suggesting everyone else is not. i felt i had to sort of depart from my normal activities and write something about this, because first of all, presidential children and grandchildren who have protection are in a very different category than ordinary kids, regrettably. they are an extension of the president himself and are targets. so, to suggest that the population as a whole is somehow similar to one of the obama children just isn't fair or right.
>> you wrote in this " washington post " op-ed, which caught my eye, how lucky is it to grow up with a loss of privacy and freedom along with the psychological effects of a child shadowed by armed body guards. having secret service protection is part of the sacrifice presidential families make in the name of public service . those who have had armed protection can suffer life-long feelings of the sense of he or she is always being watched or longing for continued dependency and security. i'm fortunate to have gotten over these issues. you're making the point that this is a privilege to serve, but there are also some burdens that come with living in that bubble.
>> oh, i think there are burdens, and the other thing i didn't say, because i had many other points i wanted to make in that piece, is then one day they are gone and you're still a quasi target in a way, because people may or may not hold resentme resentments, but people certainly know who you are, but then you don't have any protection anymore. so it really is a very unique set of circumstances, and it's an inappropriate comparison. what it does is it's designed to create animosity in the population, it's designed to create resentment against the president, when the president is, you know, tasked with being, you know, the chief of the executive branch of the government. this is entirely different than people who lead ordinary lives .
>> and it also brings attention, you would argue, to the children at the very time when we are trying to avoid, other than at inaugurals and moments like that where they are on the public stage, but there's an unwritten agreement to stay away from the kids and to let them have their soccer matches and their schools and stay as far away as possible and let them grow up as normal children.
>> i think this is really important. we talk about how we value freedom, even the nra talks about their freedom, but nobody talks about the people that sacrifice theirs for the public good, and that is certainly the case of any first family or even families of members of congress or others who serve their government. and so i think we really have to put all that aside and talk about the real issues that are at play here.
>> susan eisenhower with a unique perspective. thank you very much.