Thursday, May 03, 2007

Obama Placed Under Secret Service Protection

Senator Barak Obama (D-IL) has made it in politics -- earning the least welcomed perk of American politicians -- Secret Service protection.
You only get it this early in the campaign after a threat on your life. Usually, a committee has to approve someone as a "major candidate" -- something that's rarely if ever happened seven months before the New Hampshire Primary.
Homeland Security won't say what the threat was. The Secret Service says the threat wasn't specific and they aren't being specific because it's against their policies.

Yeah, Homeland Security -- not the Treasury Department. The Secret Service was moved to the new Department on March 1, 2003.

RFK Legacy

Secret Service protection for presidential and vice-presidential candidates came about following Bobby Kennedy's assassination in 1968. Officially, it's part of Public Law 90-331.

The Cost of Protecting Candidates

Back in March, Newsday reported the Secret Service expected to spend $21.4 million this year, and another $88.5 million in 2008 protecting candidates.

That's $106.6 million -- compared to the $73 million spent in the 2004 campaign.

Newsday attributed the 46% jump in price to the large number of candidates in "a wide open field."

The Perk of Protection

Last month, Sen Hillary Clinton (D-NY) had her Secret Service protection increased. She was already under protection as a former First Lady. (CNN)

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