I took my title from a newspaper headline I saw. The President's visit is a big deal here. News stories talk about the 600 + people from the US including Condoleezza Rice (Secretary of State), 5 chefs, 100+ secret service, 5 sniffer dog teams, aids, advisers and the journalists that travel with the President. There was a segment in the news about a military mobile command center in a jet that sits ready to respond in case of an emergency.
The security is amazing and it seems to be only for the US leader. The Australian PM has about 2 security guards when he moves. Someone told me that only the US security is allowed to carry weapons.
The President took a 5 minute cruise across Sydney harbour to Kirribilli house to have dinner with the Australian Prime Minister last night. The boat was flanked with security and before they went, divers checked the waters.
My client's main building overlooks the hotel that the President is staying at. Snipers are clearly visible on the roof of the hotel. They are also visible from some of the helicopters that follow the motorcade. We've all seen snipers on the news and on TV, but one coworker was a little rattled by actually seeing them outside the window from the meeting room. Personally, the most I've seen is the end of a motorcade, the traffic jams and the helicopters in the sky.
So far things have been peaceful. I've heard there is a protest scheduled for Saturday, but it may be a peaceful one. No matter what, we won't be here for it. We are leaving town in about an hour to visit the rainforest.
Have a great weekend!