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Obama's wayward teleprompter

October 18, 2011 | 12:28 pm

Presidential teleprompter

Psst: Hey buddy, wanna buy a used teleprompter? How about some nice presidential seals?

They say crime doesn't pay, and that was undoubtedly the case this week when a truck containing presidential communications material was stolen in Richmond, Va.

According to WWBT-TV in Richmond, which first reported the theft, the truck contained a teleprompter, $200,000 worth of audio equipment and the presidential seals that are placed on President Obama's podium.

The Times reported that "the truck was recovered at 12:30 p.m. on Monday at a Holiday Inn Express near the Richmond airport. It was unknown whether the items had been recovered."

Really, though, who would want to buy a used White House teleprompter?  I mean, the thing has to have gotten more use than one of those demo big-screen TV sets at your local Best Buy.

Plus, the thief (or thieves) has an even bigger problem: Seems the truck and its contents are controlled by the Defense Information Systems Agency.

What does that mean? As the story says:

DISA, the nation’s combat support agency, is involved because the White House Communications Agency is a military unit that provides information services and communications support to the president and his staff…. The Secret Service is responsible for the presidential security.

So now the Secret Service and the military are going to be after the culprit. Which is serious.

My advice to the thief: If you do have the stuff, give it back. Either way, turn yourself in.

After all, Obama can't be in a great mood. He's taking a beating from Republicans, of course. But did you see the headline in Monday's Times? "Media coverage of Obama largely negative, study finds." Seems the president can't catch a break anywhere.

And now someone steals his teleprompter?

Plus, who knows, maybe DISA has its own special forces operators, or even Predator drones.

Even in this tough economy, you just don't want to risk a Hellfire missile.

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— Paul Whitefield

Photo: The closing words of a speech are displayed on a teleprompter at a presidential event. Credit: Olivier Douliery / Abaca Press

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