Secret Service Guards Obama
Chertoff assigns detail to protect candidate at request of campaign
By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted May 3, 2007 3:58 PM CDT
Two secret service agents talk through a gate at the home of Democratic Sen. Barack Obama Thursday, May 3, 2007, in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood. The Secret Service said Thursday that Obama was being...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff has authorized Secret Service protection for presidential candidate Barack Obama, CNN reports. A spokesman would not explain the reason for the assignment but said the secretary acted at the campaign's request. The Secret Service said the coverage is not in response to a specific threat, although New York's WABC reported otherwise.

"For security reasons we will not release the timing, scope or details of any protective operations," Chertoff said in a statement. The move—the earliest assignment since the Secret Service started guarding major candidates in 1968—makes Obama the first 2008 hopeful who is not a former First Lady to have a Secret Service detail.