Obama Protection: Just Politics as Usual

Barack Obama has indeed made history. He will be the the first black presidential candidate to have full-time protection from the secret service well over a year in advance of the 2008 Presidential Election. He may be the first candidate ever to get such protection so early. Illinois Senator Dick Durbin proposed the idea for his colleague because of some unspecified evidence shown that further security is needed. Generally, the Secret Service protects candidates within 120 days of the General Election. Obama, who has yet to show well in a debate,let alone a primary ,could be the most protected non-factor in U.S History. Currently he is still trailing front-runner Hillary Clinton in most, if not all polls. Obama’s protection, which a bi-partisan panel recommended shows how much he means to both Democrats and Republicans. Both sides have a lot riding on his safety.

For the Dem’s it further protects their ace in the hole. Obama is a top fund raiser, and a great speaker. He has mass appeal, and has a very strong grass roots support. For either party, it is important to get more young people involved in the political process. His message is one of hope and confidence. Barack Obama is a candidate the public wants to support and believe. The detail also keeps alive the potential ’08 ticket of Hillary Clinton and Obama, which would be a ticket that the country has never seen. That ticket may be the one that will energize the historically lazy Democratic base, and may be the one that will make voting the “in” thing for young voters. The marketing and motivation to support such a ticket will speak for itself, and the ticket may be one where the Democrats can finally gain some stability, and start to lay down the ground work to be the party that wins elections, not lose them. Democrats can run the Oval Office for 16 years if Clinton serves two full terms, and then a more experienced Obama is elected in 2016 and he serves two full terms. For Democrats it is an investment for their future, and it begins next year. In order to make their congress effective, they must win the Presidency. If they lose again, it will be more of the same for Democrats, having their legislation vetoed by a Republican President. An Obama assassination may bring sympathy votes to Democrats in ’08, but will prove to be a long-term disaster for the party.

Republicans want him protected for different reasons. A dead Obama will create even more negative sentiment toward the Republican Party. If he were killed, that would bring back memories of Republican mismanagement through the Bush regime from the terror war to Katrina. Such an event will wash away all of the quiet momentum that they have gained with their candidates led by favorites Rudy Giuliani and John McCain. As things stand right now, the Republicans are in a position to win again with a strong showing by either one or other candidates. Unlike the Democratic base, Republicans will show up to vote for their candidates. Despite the all-time low approval ratings for President Bush, and all of the stumbles of his administration, the GOP is a lack-luster Democratic ticket away from retaining the Oval Office- again. If their ticket faces the Clinton-Obama ticket, that will not spell doom for Republicans. For as many people who will come out and support that historic ticket, many more will come out and vote against such a ticket believing that a woman’s place is not in the Oval Office and the same for a Black man. Either race will be a close one, and each one will put one dynamic of American values in the spotlight, if not on trial. If Obama was killed without the added protection, Republicans would have got the blame just because of their history throughout this current administration even though it won’t be entirely their fault. Republicans simply cannot afford to make the history books for a fourth time carrying the distinction of having the first serious Black candidate for President killed.

Although both sides don’t want to see any loss of life on the road to Election 2008, but the reason for Obama’s protection must have some political motivation to it as well. In politics, very few things are done for the honest reason, and even though this reason seems honest and sincere, there is so much at stake for both parties next year. One party is trying to get the Oval office back in their effort to further push their agenda that is going nowhere. The other party is trying to save face, and hopefully build enough momentum for forge an upset in ’08. Both sides want to keep their plans under wraps until election time. Democrats and Republicans like their positions right now in the polls with no clear runaway favorite. It is anybody’s game right now. In the lull before the push for Presidential nominations, all candidates are raising money, inspiring hopes, and trying to win votes through talk show appearances, grass-roots efforts or the Internet. It is a well played chess game right now. Obama’s protection is just a way to maintain everyone’s position going into the first round of primaries awaiting in the not too distant future. Nobody wants this to turn into a high-stakes Poker game with somebody about to get snake eyes. Who would have thought that politics as usual would equal common sense?