Bear hug of Obama OK in this case, Secret Service says
September 10, 2012, 3:17 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama is hugged and picked up by Scott Van Duzer(Corrects spelling of name throughout.)
It was fine for Scott Van Duzer, the owner of a pizza shop in Ft. Pierce, Fla., to give President Barack Obama a bear hug on Sunday, a spokesman for the Secret Service said Monday.
Agents, who are trained to make assessments on the behavior of the people who interact with the president, thought Van Duzer’s actions were appropriate and consistent with the event, said the spokesman, who did not want to be identified by name.
During a stop at the pizza shop while on a two-day bus tour of the crucial swing-state, Obama was lifted off the floor by Van Duzer as onlookers gasped. Obama and Van Duzer had been bantering about the size of the restaurateur’s biceps.
He is 6’3” tall and weighs 260 pounds and told reporters he can bench press 350 pounds.
Van Duzer said he was “just overcome with excitement” which led him to lift the president off the ground. Van Duzer told reporters on Sunday the agents said it was fine for him to do so as long he didn’t carry Obama away.
– Greg Robb
Vincent Palamara was born in Pittsburgh and graduated from Duquesne University with a degree in Sociology.
Although not even born when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, Vince brings fresh eyes to an old case. In fact, Vince would go on to study the largely overlooked actions - and inactions - of the United States Secret Service in unprecedented detail, as well as achieving a world's record in the process, having interviewed and corresponded with over 80 former agents (the House Select Committee on Assassinations had the old record of 46 with a 6 million dollar budget and subpoena power from Congress), not to mention many surviving family members, White House aides, and even quite a few Parkland and Bethesda medical witnesses for a corresponding project. The result was Survivor's Guilt: The Secret Service & The Failure To Protect President Kennedy.
Vince is also the author of the books JFK: From Parkland To Bethesda, The Not-So-Secret Service, Who's Who in the Secret Service, and Honest Answers about the Murder of President John F. Kennedy: A New Look at the JFK Assassination.
All told, Vince has been favorably mentioned in over 140 JFK and Secret Service related books to date (including two whole chapters in Murder in Dealey Plaza, The Secret Service: The Hidden History Of An Enigmatic Agency by Philip Melanson, and the Final Report of the Assassination Records Review Board, among many others), often at length, in the bibliographies, and in the Secret Service - and even medical evidence - areas of these works.
Vince has appeared on the History Channel's THE MEN WHO KILLED KENNEDY (VHS and DVD), C-SPAN, Newsmax TV, A COUP IN CAMELOT (DVD/BLU RAY), KING KILL '63, THE MAN BEHIND THE SUIT (DVD), National Geographic's JFK: THE FINAL HOURS (including on DVD), PCN, BPTV, local cable access television, YouTube, radio, newspapers, print journals, at national conferences, and all over the internet. Also, Vince's original research materials, or copies of said materials, are stored in the National Archives (by request under Deed Of Gift by the ARRB), the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, Harvard University, the Assassination Archives and Research Center, and the Dallas Public Library.
Vince Palamara has become known (as he was dubbed by the History Channel in 2003) "the Secret Service expert." As former JFK Secret Service agent Joe Paolella proclaimed: "You seem to know a lot about the Secret Service, maybe even more than I do!" Agent Dan Emmett calls Vince a Secret Service expert in his new book.
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I just don’t agree with Mr. Bolden on this one. I read his book and God bless him, but so what that a burly dude gave him a hug out of obvious affection? He was the owner of the restaurant, hadn’t known the President would be there more than 20 minutes earlier, and had been checked out by the Secret Service beforehand – meaning they had done some background on him to insure he was a “friendly” in the President’s presence.