McCain shrugs off Secret Service: Bravery or campaign stunt?

Categories: John McCain

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The top political story today is that McCain doesn't have Secret Service protection.

Word comes from Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan, who told a Congressional committee that the Arizona senator never asked for protection.

"Statutorily, he is not required to take protection," Sullivan said when asked about McCain's security during a hearing on the agency's budget. "As far as an actual request, we have not gotten one. We have no involvement at this point."

A request from McCain seems unlikely anytime soon, however.

The two-time presidential candidate has said he does not want Secret Service protection, fearing it would interfere with his brand of intimate campaigning among voters. McCain also has said he'll try to last as long as he can without it.

"I've never done it. After we won New Hampshire in 2000, they really tried to get us, but we said no," McCain said last November while campaigning in Concord, N.H. "It's an invasion of your ability to have contact with voters."

Now, I'm pretty sure this is meant to evoke toughness. You know, McCain don't need no stinkin' Secret Service. Mofo survived a tiger cage.

But here's what it evokes in me: John McCain is really, really old. So old that he doesn't bother with Secret Service protection cause an agent can't jump in the way of a heart attack. So old that death within the next four years is practically inevitable, assassin or no. So old that the scare of an assassination attempt is as likely to kill him as the bullet.

Do we really want a president that is almost guaranteed to die in office? A president who recklessly disregards his personal safety (and by extension, the country's) by daring an assassin to take a shot at him?

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