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New Secret Service Head Joe Clancy Personally Led Obama Security

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Joe Clancy, the man in charge of cleaning up the Secret Service after a series of embarrassing security gaffes, is the ideal person to lead the agency through troubled waters, Washington insiders said Wednesday.

The Department of Homeland Security named Clancy, director of corporate security for Comcast Corp., as interim acting director of the Secret Service after Julia Pierson resigned Wednesday. He retired from the agency in July 2011 as special agent in charge of the Presidential Protective Division, a role for which he was well-regarded. "I'm very pleased," Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, the ranking Democrat on the House Government Oversight Committee, told NBC News. "He is a person the president has utmost confidence in — he will take a bullet for him."

Because of the nature of the agency, not a great deal is known about Clancy's Secret Service career, but his face should be familiar to the American people — he's the balding man walking behind the president and his family in hundreds of pictures of the First Family during the first 2½ years of the Obama administration. "I knew Joe Clancy when he led the presidential detail," David Axelrod, one of Obama's oldest friends and longest-serving advisers, said on Twitter. "You could not find a better person to repair the Secret Service."

Comcast is the parent company of NBC Universal.

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 Agent Joe Clancy, the new interim director of the Secret Service, holds the door open for President Barack Obama upon arrival at the Vatican for a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI on July 10, 2009. Gregorio Borgia / AP, file

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