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FYI, Michelle Obama says airport security now takes you only 13 minutes

April 14, 2009 |  6:15 pm
America's air travelers, who are routinely required to partially disrobe and prove their innocence while under scrutiny as possible airline terrorists every time they seek to board a commercial airplane, mFirst Lady Michelle Obama speaks at the Dept of Homeland Security 4-14-09ay be pleased to know now that the search-and-find procedure has improved.

According to First Lady Michelle Obama, that shuffling, shoeless, beltless remove-all-jackets-and-laptop-computers-and-separate-those-tiny tubes-of-toothpaste-that-will-run-out-on-the-trip's-third-day process only takes about 13 minutes per person now.

A Bo-less Mrs. Obama made the statement during the latest in her ongoing series of thank-you visits to federal departments in Washington.

"Pretty impressive" was how she described that search experience for about 2 million passengers today and nearly as many pieces of checked baggage, much of it en route to the correct city.

So that works out to something like 26 million minutes of security line waiting per day or nearly 434,000 lost hours of productivity and stimulus spending.

Although, to be honest, traveling on charter and now presidential aircraft, Mrs. Obama hasn't endured the searches since the Secret Service took over her family's protection nearly two years ago and doesn't recollect the folks in front of the line whose massive carry-on luggage indicates they may be moving rather than traveling.

Mrs. Obama was warmly received in the Department of Homeland Security, as she usually is on these stops.

It was the eighth such department she's visited to thank them for their dedication and hard work, part of a local community outreach she envisioned during the presidential campaign.

One of the president's "greatest concerns and priorities" is protecting the American people, the first lady told about 300 of the department's 218,000 employees. And "he couldn't do it without you," she said. She was so very appreciative that she said thank you 13 times.

So, thanks for that.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

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