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If John McCain were elected president, how many homes would we taxpayers need to pay to protect?  How many full-time security details?  How many no-fly zones?  At what price to the neighbors?  At what price to us?

A glance at the Wikipedia page for George W. Bush's ranch in Crawford contains this nugget:

The Federal Aviation Administration has three nautical miles (six km) no fly zone around the ranch full time (designated Prohibited Area 49). When President Bush is there, a Temporary Flight Restriction is issued, expanding the radius to 10 nautical miles (19 km), with lesser restrictions extending to 30 nautical miles (56 km), containing some exceptions for Waco Regional Airport nearby.

The questions just keep on coming...

Obviously, we cannot begrudge a president whatever it costs to keep his or her home secure.  There are bad people out there who do bad things, and a president's property would be a prime target for anyone hoping to make a media splash.  Nor would it be reasonable to insist that a president sell off his or her home before taking office.  So, taxpayers are saddled with the cost of protecting the president's private residence, and protecting a single home is a cost we just need to bear.

In McCain's case, though, security and cost questions take on extra significance because many of McCain's homes are in urban areas.  The condos in Coronado are less than 3 miles from the San Diego International Airport - does that put one of America's major cities into a permanent no-fly zone?  The condos in Phoenix are not much farther away from Sky Harbor Airport - just 5 miles.  Do we put two cities in lock-down for the entire McCain administration?

Would the American taxpayer be morally obligated to foot the bill so that the McCains can continue to enjoy the privileges for which Cindy's dad worked so hard?  Should the McCains be obligated to sell all their properties except the one in Sedona, which would be the cheapest and easiest to defend?  Would the American people be expected to pay for security for the McCains' investment properties in addition to their expansive personal living quarters?

How many Americans are at risk if the next Timothy McVeigh decides to take a pot-shot at one of McCain's condo buildings?  Will entire neighborhoods in Phoenix, Coronado, and La Jolla become permanent high-security encampments?  Will operations at the San Diego Naval Air Station, located just feet from the Coronado properties, need to be adjusted to accommodate the McCains' need for ocean-front real estate?  Vast chaos will ensue from protecting these private properties.  How much are we expected to swallow?

Enquiring minds want to know.  We deserve to know!

Originally posted to malangali on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 12:46 AM PDT.

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