How much protection does the president need? The current scandal surrounding the Secret Service raises this question: Does the president really need so many protectors that large numbers of them have the luxury of arranging and attending parties with prostitutes?
To answer the question, I adopt the case-study method: Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley could have used more SS protection than the none or little available to them. In every case, the VP who succeeded was a worse president than the man he succeeded. (No fan of TR am I.)
JFK had a lot of SS protection, but not as much as presidents of latter years. JFK’s death led not only to the elevation of (ugh!) LBJ but also helped LBJ ram through the Great Society legislation that has had dire consequences for the country.
My conclusion: I should be in charge of deciding the level of SS protection afforded a president, given his policies, the identity of his VP, and the likely effect of the president’s demise on the next president’s ability to “get things done.” Sympathy passage of Obama-Biden policies, followed by the election of Biden would be a bad thing.
Therefore, I would protect Obama as if he were the holiest of holies, so that he can be defeated in November.