There are plenty of objects that shouldn't be placed in the same vicinity as the President of the United States. Guns, for instance, or knives (at least, the kind that are at least as sharp as steak knives). But silverware? That's a new one. Politico reports that the Secret Service has required guests at a lunch where the President was speaking this afternoon to surrender their forks and knives before Obama would enter the room:
“It’s very important that you use your utensils as soon as possible,” National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials board member Raquel Regalado told about 1000 delegates at the group’s annual conference.
Regalado hurried the diners to finish up their salads and pre-cut chicken breasts, saying that the Secret Service required that there be no knives at the tables and that the forks be rounded up before Obama entered the room.
“As you know, we’re having another speaker and there is some Secret Service involved. So there’s a reason why there’s no knives at your table and the forks will be collected. ... And I’m not joking,” Regalado told the audience in a ballroom at Disney’s Contemporary Resort at Walt Disney World. “So, like the good Hispanic mother I’m here to tell you to please, eat your lunch.”
A Secret Service spokesman confirmed that the agency made the request, but said such requirements are common at large events where the president speaks at about the same time people are dining.
Now, naturally this kind of defensiveness raises questions - is Obama really in so much danger of being stabbed with a fork or a bread knife? And wouldn't it be rather difficult to do that much damage without getting caught by the Secret Service first? What differentiates this from, say, the White House Correspondents' Dinner, which also has a large number of participants and which, as far as we know, doesn't require those participants to fork over their silverware.
But frankly, the question that interests us is - why just forks and knives? Surely spoons can do damage. Or has the Obama team never heard of a spork?