Guessing Kerry's Code Name

ByABC News
February 20, 2004, 12:36 PM

W A S H I N G T O N, Feb. 20 -- Democratic candidate Sen. John Kerry woke up under the watchful eye of the U.S. Secret Service today, fresh evidence of his front-runner status as a contender for a run at the White House.

Armored government vehicles pulled up outside his Boston home just after midnight, and agents took up post positions to keep the senator under their protection 24/7, so long as he is running for president.

The Kerry campaign had not publicly reported any threats or incidents in which the candidate was in danger, and Secret Service headquarters in Washington confirms that the request for Kerry's protection went through normal channels.

A committee of five leaders of Congress reviews the need and the Secretary of Homeland Security approves the expensive process of assigning plain clothed agents, cars, and radio communications gear in a smaller version of the PPD, Presidential Protection Detail, around President Bush.

A candidate must meet some but not all of the following criteria from which the committee recommends that protection begin: Must be an announced candidate; Must be actively campaigning on a national basis; Must be registering in opinion polls; Must be winning 10 percent of the vote in two consecutive primaries or caucuses; Must be receiving matching funds; Must be receiving at least $2 million in contributions; Must have the committed support of at least 10 percent of the convention delegates.

Kerry clearly fits the bill.