Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Bodyguard Divide

This was previously posted on on or before 2008-01-23:

I thought I knew how to explain all the differences between the Republican and Democratic candidates for President. From the policies on taxes, regulations, illegal immigration and the Muslim World Jihad against modernity, one can tell the current crop of Democrat and Republican candidates for President apart from a mile away.

Literally, as it turns out.

You can actually tell the Obama/Clinton campaign entourages apart from McCain/Romney/Huckabee/Giuliani crowds, a mile away. Why? The discrepancy in the number of bodyguards.

Obama and Clinton are surrounded by a security entourage fit for a sitting President. This is in part understandable, in the case of Hillary, who unlike in the roaring Monica Lewinsky 1990s sometimes travels with the former President Bill. For the first-term Illinois Senator Obama, however, the swarms of bodyguards appears a bit more mysterious.

Contrast this with the Republican candidates. I met both McCain and Romney on multiple occasions in 2007, and on none of these four occasions was there a single bodyguard in sight. I have heard from others that the story is similar at Huckabee and Giuliani events, with the exception of Giuliani having at least one bodyguard. You don't see some sort of boxing rope at a Republican event (or nightclub/Hollywood red velvet rope when Bill Clinton needs to feel at home).

To quantify this further, ONE of ANY of the top two Democratic candidates have MORE than 10x (probably 20x) as many bodyguards as ALL of the Republican candidates COMBINED. The difference couldn't be greater.

Traditionally, Presidential candidates have received Secret Service protection upon receiving the formal nomination by their respective parties, typically some time in the Summer. Until then, they had none or very little protection. Obviously, exceptions were made for George Bush in 1988 because he was the sitting Vice President, but generally this wasn't so. I was at the Republican Convention in San Diego in August 1996 when we nominated Bob Dole, and he was just getting his first bodyguards from Secret Service around that time.

What I don't know is what it means. Perhaps you the reader can offer some credible suggestions. Does it mean that the threat against the leading Democrats is greater? Nobody wants to harm the Republican candidates? Why?