The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

16 January 2008

CNS: GOP Candidates, Edwards Lack Secret Service Protection


While Libs Worry About Obama's Safety, Others Lack Security

It was just a week ago that an incident involving one of Barack Obama's aides and FOX News Channel commentator Bill O'Reilly at a New Hampshire rally made headlines.

Accusing O'Reilly of provoking the brief skirmish, "progressives" went on the offensive, even asserting he'd put Obama's life at risk by potentially inspiring others to go after the Democrat presidential contender:

After the recent murder of Benazir Bhutto, we realize once again that nothing excites the forces of hate and fear more than the prospect of decency and reconciliation. And if Obama wins the New Hampshire primary, as now looks likely, the incidence of violence on the campaign trial will increase exponentially. The recent chilling encounter in New Hampshire between Bill O'Reilly and an Obama aide was a forecast of how easily mad dog media men can stimulate mad dog hit men.

Today, however, we've learned (via the leaking of a confidential memo) that Obama has been well- protected all along, with a high level of security also enjoyed by Hillary Clinton. Yet for some unexplained reason, all of the GOP contenders currently lack Secret Service assistance, as does Democrat John Edwards.

From CNS:

Democratic presidential contenders Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) and Sen. Hillary Clinton (N.Y.) have Secret Service protection, and the seven candidates who "currently meet or exceed" the "criteria for consideration" of protection but don't have it, according to Chertoff, are: John Edwards, Rudolph Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, John McCain, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson. (The "criteria for consideration" for Secret Service protection are not publicly available.)

The authenticity of Chertoff's Jan. 9 letter, obtained exclusively by Cybercast News Service from a confidential source, was confirmed by Jeff Ostermayer, a DHS spokesman.

The implied request for Secret Service Protection from the Edwards '08 campaign has not been independently confirmed, despite repeated inquiries to his campaign and numerous telephone calls and in-person requests at the offices of the advisory committee's congressional members.

They include House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

According to Chertoff's letter, the Secret Service has provided protection for 454 Clinton trips and 404 Obama trips between May 1, 2007 and Jan. 1, 2008.

While the story indicates these candidates may not have requested Secret Service support, it doesn't appear to have been offered to them, either.

So to those on the left who are so worried about Obama's security, especially in light of "Mad Man" O'Reilly's supposed effort to undermine his safety, where is the same consideration for Edwards and the GOP field? Couldn't they be targeted just as easily as Obama?

And where is the evidence that O'Reilly's shoving match with the Obama aide has led to any new threats against the Illinois senator? Would our "progressive" friends rather forget their past unhinged moments?

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Top image: al-Reuters


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