The US Secret Service is keeping a watchful eye on Senator Obama, fearing the first potential black US president may be assassinated.
The Democratic presidential candidate now rivals US President George W. Bush in security with a dozen Secret Service agents at his disposal, Washington Times reported.
The agents, wearing dark suits and earpieces, lead bomb-sniffing dogs through event venues, sweep all equipment brought by journalists and flank the candidate as he plunges into crowds of supporters during his campaign meetings.
"For many black supporters, there is a lot of anxiety that he will be killed," said Melissa Harris-Lacewell, a Princeton University professor.
Although it is unknown whether the Illinois senator has received an explicit death threat, he has been under federal watch since early last year.
Obama's campaign has also refused to give any details regarding the security of the Democratic Iowa caucus' winner.
The 1980s black presidential candidate Jesse Jackson had also received Secret Service protection while campaigning because of the violent death threats made against him.
Former State Secretary Colin L. Powell ruled out a presidential run in part because his wife expressed fears he would be assassinated.
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
Let's see, how can we spin Secret Service protection for a leading candidate?