Friday, May 4, 2007

Race a Factor in Obama's Secret Service Protection

Senator Barack Obama will now campaign under the protection of the Secret Service in the earliest security increase for a presidential candidate who was not already involved in a presidential administration.

"The secretary did authorize and the Secret Service is implementing today protection for presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama," Secret Service spokesman Eric Zahren said. "We're not going to discuss further details as to the number of resources or as to those protection operations."

According to CBS News, an anonymous law enforcement official stated that the the increase in security was prompted by "general concerns about the safety of a prominent black candidate."

Senator Obama has received no direct threats, although the anonymous official did comment on the presence of "racist chatter" on the Internet, particularly among white supremacist groups.

"I face the same security issues as anybody," Obama told the Associated Press back in February. "We're comfortable with the steps we have taken."

The Obama campaign did not comment on the security increase.