The president is a lot more popular on Martha’s Vineyard than the men and women who guard him.
MARTHA’S VINEYARD, Mass. – Long before President Obama’s security detail was scandalized in Colombia and new revelations emerged last week about the Secret Service, members of the elite team earned an “Animal House” reputation at the blueblood vacation mecca of Martha’s Vineyard.
Local residents say wild parties, fights and late-night carousing involving Secret Service members have become commonplace in recent years at the Vineyard, a favorite getaway for the First Family and longtime destination for upper-crust members of the Northeastern political, media and business establishment.
“I expect parties during the summer. People come here to have fun — they’re on vacation,” said a resident who lives in the East Chop section of Oak Bluffs, near the six-bedroom Victorian mansion whose owners dubbed it the Secret Service’s “party house,” after agents staying in a cluster of adjacent homes converged on it for late-night soirees. “But I didn’t think it’d be Secret Service people here protecting the president.”
‘If Secret Service says they’ve never received complaints about these same guys, then there is clear evidence to the contrary — if they say that, they’re lying.’
– Homeowner who says house was trashed by Secret Service agents
Trashed rental homes, bad behavior and barroom brawls that have required the local police to step in have some disgusted Martha’s Vineyard homeowners vowing never to rent out to the Secret Service again. And while none of the disturbing behavior appeared to have any direct effect on the president’s safety, some occurred even as the president and his family were nearby.