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Hillary Clinton's naughty Secret Service guys

April 5, 2008 | 12:00 pm

The Secret Service is not a very well understood agency of the federal government because it is so, well, secret. These men and women on the protection detail spend especially long days and nights away from home ensuring the safety of political candidates, former first family members and visiting dignitaries like the Pope next week.

They appear to the general public to be a bunch of sourpusses in suits and sunglasses, until they're off-duty back at the hotel and someone arrives with the box of donuts.

So we admire their dedication and professionalism. And we also could not resist the brief video clip that our friend Gillian over at the TMZ celebrity blog shared with us for a little laugh.

It shows Sen. Hillary Clinton, who's being protected both because she's a Democratic candidate for president and a former first lady. Just ask her. Thirty-five years of experience. Ready from Day One. Yada yada.

She was in town the other day doing what Democratic politicians usually do when they're in L.A.: Collect big bags of money. Because she's way behind Sen. Barack Obama in that department.

As Clinton and her caravan pulled up to one evening fundraiser, a small crowd was waiting to cheer. Someone had a video camera and as the Service's favorite black SUV that screams "Dignitary in Here" pulled up, the hatchback swung open and out jumped a Secret Service agent, who'd been riding in the vehicle's luggage compartment. Without a seat belt. In California traffic.

Click it or ticket.

Nobody's gonna do anything about it, of course. Who cares? Because, frankly, when you think about it, each one of those grim-looking guys and gals packs a very effective rapid-firing weapon inside the coat of those nice-looking suits.

So click it or ticket yourself.

-- Andrew Malcolm