While it is still early in the campaign for U.S. president, Republican candidate Herman Cain has received the protection of the Secret Service. Cain’s campaign personnel requested the agency’s help in response to apparent death threats against the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO.
Federal law requires that requests for Secret Service protection be made through the Secretary of Homeland Security, who then relays the request to Congress. According to The Washington Post‘s “Federal Eye” blog, the Service has alloted $113.4 million to protect the eventual Republican 2012 nominee, an increase of $4 million over the 2008 election.
Also according to “Federal Eye”, the earliest a candidate has received the agency’s protection was 18 months before the general election in 2008, when President Obama and his family were assigned a Secret Service detail due to death threats made against the then-Senator. As a former First Lady, Secretary of State Clinton was protected by the Secret Service throughout the 2008 campaign.