McCain Finally Yields To The Service

In a pre-taped interview with Fox News Sunday's Chris Wallace, Sen. John McCain said he plans to ask the U.S. Secret Service next week for a protective detail and expects to receive one within the next few weeks.

The meeting next week will be ... intense. There is not a small amount of anger among McCain advisers at the testimony of Secret Service director Mark Sullivan yesterday, who "revealed" to members of Congress that McCain did not have a detail.

The McCain campaign believes they kept a quiet pact with its traveling press corps to keep details of McCain's security a secret for his protection and there own. (I did not comply with the campaign requests, although I will omit reporting about the methods of protection, the size of the details, code phrases, and the like. Other members of the traveling press corps say they do not recall agreeing to avoid reporting about McCain's security arrangements.)

Asked by Wallace why he had not asked for protection, McCain said that "it inhibits my ability to have close contact with people," according to excerpts released by Fox News.

In the past, advisers have said that McCain would prefer a security blanket that appears lighter than those covering Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. He told one long-time friend that, if elected, he intended to do away with the heavily armored presidential limousenes if he were elected; the friend said he hoped McCain was joking.

The Secret Service has proved adept at adapting their security protocols to the particularities of candidates, but McCain visibly blanches at the sight of rope lines and does not like to put any barriers between him and voters.