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Vitter, Off the Hook... Again

Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) has dodged yet another bullet.

The senator has escaped further scrutiny in his alleged airport rage incident earlier this month in which he set off an alarm in the United Airlines terminal of Washington Dulles International Airport after opening a closed security door.

The Transportation Security Administration, which had been reviewing the incident, has determined Vitter violated no security rules at the airport.

"TSA worked with local partners to review the incident and determined the actions of the individual did not pose a security threat," the TSA said in a statement. "The individual caused a door to alarm but did not proceed into a restricted area."

It is a Class 1 misdemeanor for an unauthorized person to enter a restricted area at the airport. But TSA has decided that Vitter's flinging open the door to the jet bridge of the plane he was trying to catch didn't cross the criminal threshold.

Airport police officers were called March 5 to deal with an "irate passenger" in the United terminal. But by the time officers arrived, the passenger was gone, according to a spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. Vitter claimed he "accidentally went through a wrong door at the gate."

The incident came at an inopportune time for Vitter, as he was trying to rehabilitate his image in the wake of his involvement in the D.C. Madam scandal of two years ago. Vitter is gearing up for a reelection fight in 2010.

Today's vindication by the TSA is welcome news at the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

"From the beginning much of the reporting on this non-incident sounded a lot like the Democrats when they talk about defeating Senator Vitter next year - a lot of hype and a lot of rhetoric with not a great deal of attention paid to reality and facts," says NRSC spokesman Brian Walsh. "One can only hope that the same media outlets that breathlessly reported this a few weeks ago will now go back to their readers and viewers and work to set the record straight."

By Mary Ann Akers  |  March 24, 2009; 4:00 PM ET
 
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Comments

Another lowlife from Lousiana. Pleople in the south do pick their politicians. I'm angry why he isn't in jail for soliciting a prostitute.

Posted by: August30 | March 24, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Clever headline! I first read it as "Vitter, Off the Hooker... Again"

Posted by: myhonestopinion | March 24, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Well, if that's not criminal when he does it, guess the next time I'm late for a flight I know what to do since it's not a criminal action nor a misdemeanor if I just pull open the door...(as I recall he WAS allowed on the plane).

Posted by: forget@menot.com | March 24, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Who the hell is Brian Walsh?

And is the best he could come up with?

God, the NRSC must be cruising 8th grade newspapers to get a gem like this guy.

Posted by: SwellLevel5 | March 24, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Well, given he wasn't held accountable for his wretched behavior -- and illegalities -- before, why should this be a surprise?
I really hope this piece of trash is kicked out of Washington in 2010. He is unworthy of the Senate.

Posted by: vegasgirl1 | March 24, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Is that anything like fellow Right Wing loony, Ann Coulter "accidentally" committing voter fraud?

Oh, and how does anyone get to "accidentally" open a secured door and enter a dangerous area where a commercial jet is about to disembark?

Posted by: kevinschmidt | March 24, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Re: "Another lowlife from Lousiana. Pleople in the south do pick their politicians. I'm angry why he isn't in jail for soliciting a prostitute."
by August30

Is that the best you can do? Where do you live? In Heaven?
Vitter is our senator and we will handle the situation here in Louisiana.

Posted by: janye1 | March 25, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Yes Senator Vitter did wrong when he got involed with DC Madam. Also he was not Cautious enough when he opened the wrong door. But you people need to speak for your own Senator there are lot of Senator and Rep that do a lot of worst thing in Washington but people like you never say any thing is wrong that they do. Senator Dodd made it easy for the AIG CEO and others to get there bonus and he and his wife were closely involved with AIG. Look at others. Now let Louisisna handle there own Senators. I for one would lot Rather vote for him then our Dem> senator who would vote for anything no matter how Bad it hurt the American people. I am in Louisiana so let us handle who we vote for. Does not seem like you know handle your own Senators.

Posted by: dfazio22 | March 25, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

So his mistress had to travel all by herself? Probably couldn't bill him for the trip, so she'll become another unemployed worker.

Posted by: bulldog6 | March 25, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if he looked for his colleague, Sen. Larry Craig, at the airport when he missed the flight.

Posted by: bulldog6 | March 25, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Yes Senator Vitter did wrong when he got involed with DC Madam. Also he was not Cautious enough when he opened the wrong door. But you people need to speak for your own Senator there are lot of Senator and Rep that do a lot of worst thing in Washington but people like you never say any thing is wrong that they do. Senator Dodd made it easy for the AIG CEO and others to get there bonus and he and his wife were closely involved with AIG. Look at others. Now let Louisisna handle there own Senators. I for one would lot Rather vote for him then our Dem> senator who would vote for anything no matter how Bad it hurt the American people. I am in Louisiana so let us handle who we vote for. Does not seem like you know handle your own Senators.
*************************************
The bigger crisis in Louisiana may be spelling and grammar...

Posted by: cosmiccanine | March 25, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Remember Edwin Edwards? "The only way I can lose this election is if I'm caught in bed with either a dead girl or a live boy." Louisiana has its own traditional moral standards for politicians, even for Republicans, apparently! The South is totally schizophrenic about sexual issues -- fundamentalism and strip clubs are both deeply ingrained parts of the culture, not just in New Orleans, but more "straight" cities such as Atlanta or Houston. Saturday night sinner, Sunday morning deacon, it's a (male dominated) way of life. Vitter personally though is more like Spitzer -- he's a Harvard grad who thought the rules he wanted for everyone else didn't apply to him and had the arrogance to think he could get away with it, and so far, he has. It will be fascinating to see which face of the culture prevails in 2010, or whether people are fed up with hypocrisy.

Posted by: nyguy | March 26, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

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