Saturday, November 20, 2010

The perquisites of power

Representative John A. Boehner, the soon-to-be Republican speaker, pledged recently that he would fly commercial airlines back home to Ohio, passing up the military plane used by the current speaker, Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat. But that does not mean he will endure the hassles of ordinary passengers, including pat downs and other new security screenings.

As he left Washington on Friday, Mr. Boehner headed across the Potomac River to Ronald Reagan National Airport, which was bustling with afternoon travelers. There was no waiting for Mr. Boehner, who was escorted around the identification-checking agents, the metal detectors and the body scanners, and whisked directly to the gate.

The Republican leader, who will become the second person in line to assume the presidency after the new Congress convenes in January, took great pride after the midterm elections in declaring his man-of-the-people plans to travel home as other Americans do. In a time of economic difficulty, it was a not-so-subtle dig at Ms. Pelosi, who has access to a military jet large enough to avoid refueling for her flights home to San Francisco.

But he is not giving up all the perquisites of power.
--Jeff Zeleny, NYT, on who is not feeling our TSA pain

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