For Obama Faithful, Fears Cloud Hopes
Evoking memories of King, Kennedys stirs anxieties over safety
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2008 10:15 AM CST
A Secret Service agent, left, watches the crowd as Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., participates in a march on the South Carolina Capitol in honor of Martin Luther King, Monday,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – "Stop worrying," Barack Obama tells supporters. “I've got the best protection in the world.” But they're worrying anyway: Even as supporters have watched their candidate rocket from longshot to frontrunner, their anxieties about a possible assassination attempt have grown, the New York Times reports. “Some candidates are bigger targets than others," ex-contender Gary Hart notes. "Any transition candidate or change candidate has a higher profile.”

"Barack scares us," says one expert. "He represents so much hope and change. That is exactly what was taken away from us in the 1960s.” Secret Service agents have guarded Obama since May 2007, earlier than any other presidential candidate ever, and his coverage rivals that of a sitting president. As Obama himself points out, "Neither Kennedy nor Martin Luther King had Secret Service protection.”