AccessMyLibrary provides FREE access to millions of articles from top publications available through your library.
Two weeks ago, W. Ralph Basham, the new commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, and an aide boarded an Amtrak Acela train in Washington and traveled to New York for Basham's first public speaking engagement before the American Association of Exporters and Importers. What's significant is what is missing from this picture: no bodyguards, no entourage, no motorcade, no flight in one of Customs' private jets--none of the trappings that some of Basham's predecessors considered perks of the office.
Basham's traveling habits could be a bellwether for change in style at Customs. He was sworn in on June 6, and shortly afterward told his staff: "I'm low-maintenance."
"This is not about Ralph Basham. This is about CBP, and the bigger picture is about securing this country. If I have to wear a cheerleading skirt and wave pompoms, I'm willing to do that. If I have to go to the Hill and take a beating, I'm willing to do that," Basham said in an interview. "My role here is to provide the tools and the resources for these really smart people to do their jobs."
Basham, 63, spent most of his 36-year career with the Secret Service. He was director of the agency last February …