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Guess this makes them serious candidates.


In normal presidential elections, it wouldn't be particularly noteworthy that the top candidates have requested Secret Service protection. But this is a campaign where the two top Republicans are Donald Trump and Ben Carson, neither of whom ever appears within shouting distance of "normal," so it's definitely news that they've both asked for agents of the bloated, inefficient federal government to keep them safe.

DHS said it has received official requests from both campaigns. Those requests are now under review, but neither candidate has yet received a security detail. According to a DHS spokesman, the Carson and Trump requests will be determined "after consultation with a congressional advisory committee which includes the speaker of the House, House minority leader, Senate majority leader, Senate minority leader and one additional member selected by the aforementioned committee."

This strikes us as something of a surprise, given that Donald Trump has made a point of saying he carries a gun himself, at least "sometimes," because, he gunsplained, "I feel much better being armed." He was pretty sure that an everyday armed citizen with a gun could have stopped the Oregon massacre, so it's odd that he would want a bunch of government guys providing his security. Besides, he's already got a private goon squad to rough up protesters and eject mouthy Mexicans from his press appearances. Should Trump actually get a Secret Service detail, we hope they'll be delivered with a note explaining they're only supposed to protect him from bad people, not to enforce his every whim. Seems like the kind of reminder he might need.

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Like everything else involving Ben Carson -- such as the question of how he could have been a brilliant brain surgeon when his own brain is so clearly broken -- the simple matter of his request for a Secret Service detail is confusing and weird. DHS said that Carson had requested protection while he was on his book tour -- yes, he's taking time out of "campaigning" to do a "book tour" -- but Carson himself says that his request was somehow forced upon him:

"I don't feel the need for it quite frankly, but the Secret Service thinks that I need it," Carson said. "I recognize that someone like me — who's very truthful, and who really doesn't subscribe to all the traditional power structures is probably gonna be a target. I also think that there's a God, but, you know, you have to be logical, so I will deal with it."

See! He's not stupid; he's just awfully good at self-aggrandizing! And maybe not quite as trusting of heavenly protection as he should be. If it's God's will that he not be shot, why bother with bodyguards? Guess he saw that episode of Mythbusters where they used ballistics gel to demonstrate that spiritual armor won't even stop a .22 caliber bullet.

Also, rather than wasting taxpayers' money on a Secret Service detail, wouldn't it make more sense for a president to call on everyone around him to rush a potential assassin? Or perhaps President Carson could just point to Vice President Trump and say, "I think you want that guy"?

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Finally, we should note that Trump has already griped that no one was giving him the respect he deserves. In an interview last week, he sniffed, "Personally, I think if Obama were doing as well as me, he would've had Secret Service [earlier]. I have by far the biggest crowds."

NPR notes -- without even snottily saying "ACTUALLY," which had to be a temptation -- that during the 2008 election, Barack Obama "was put under Secret Service protection earlier than any other candidate in presidential election history [...] about eight months before any of the primary contests began."

Sorry, Donny. Once again, you fail to be First. You might want to get used to that.

[NPR]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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