Secret Service Guards Obama

Chertoff assigns detail to protect candidate at request of campaign
By Marie Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted May 3, 2007 3:58 PM CDT
Secret Service Guards Obama
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 placed under its protection, the earliest ever for a presidential candidate. (AP Photo/Charles Rex...   (Associated Press)

(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. (Read more Barack Obama stories.)

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