A former White House senior staffer says given the violent week across the country, safety efforts at this year’s White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) dinner will undoubtedly be beefed up.
“I think there’s going to be more security for sure. The question is, will the security be noticeable or not?” Bradley Blakeman tells ITK.
Blakeman, who handled appointments, scheduling, vetting and research as former President George W. Bush’s deputy assistant, says, “I think you’ll see more police presence of uniformed police, and police cars, and that kind of thing. But a lot of additional ramped up security you probably will not see.”
The annual fete at the Washington Hilton hotel, which is traditionally attended by the president, is being held on April 27.
Despite the bombings at the Boston Marathon, along with the arrest of a Mississippi man for allegedly sending ricin to President Obama and Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), WHCA President Ed Henry told us Thursday, “We always interface with the Secret Service and we will again before this dinner but I haven’t heard anything that would suggest any sort of elevated threat or anything like that. Instead we’re focused on having a great night and raising scholarships for needy journalism students.”
But Blakeman, who heads up the consulting firm The 1600 Group, says extra precautions are bound to be taken out of concern for copycats: “I think it’s going to be more under the radar. They may push back the zone of protection outside the venue so the public doesn’t get as close as they did last year. There might be more police presence, but I don’t think it will be felt by the attendees.”