Presidential Protection

December 12, 1975

Report Outline
Concern Over 1976 Campaign Risks
Events Involving Past Assassinations
Current Issues of Executive Protection
Special Focus

Concern Over 1976 Campaign Risks

New Reality of Political Assassination In U.S.A.

The harsh reality of political assassination refuses to go away. The approach of another presidential campaign year, with all its perils to the candidates, has forced the nation once again to ponder ways of providing for their safety without undermining the political process or eroding the constitutional rights of citizens. Two attempts on President Ford's life in September flooded America with memories of assassinations it would prefer to forget.

Many of the old debates resurfaced. How can public officials be better protected? How can potential assassins be singled out and deterred? What is the proper role of the press in its coverage of assassination events? In the aftermath of the assassination attempts on Ford, new calls arose for curtailment of presidential travel and for enactment of stronger gun control legislation. Secret Service protection was promptly offered to several presidential candidates.

The public exposure of presidential contenders is likely to be greater than ever in the 1976 campaign now under way. They will compete in more presidential primaries than ever (30), beginning with the Feb. 24 New Hampshire election. Then after the national conventions next summer conies a long spell of campaigning for the party nominees leading to the general election next Nov. 2. The amount of exposure, and risk, is increased by the length of the campaign. Indeed, the assassination attempts upon President Ford occurred during trips to California which commentators regarded as essentially political.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Executive Powers and the Presidency
Feb. 24, 2006  Presidential Power
Nov. 15, 2002  Presidential Power
Feb. 02, 2001  The Bush Presidency
Jun. 20, 1997  Line-Item Veto
Jun. 14, 1996  First Ladies
Oct. 21, 1988  Dangers in Presidential Transitions
Jun. 10, 1988  The Quandary of Being Vice President
Jan. 06, 1984  Presidential Advisory Commissions
Jul. 28, 1978  Presidential Popularity
Feb. 13, 1976  Evaluating Presidential Performance
Dec. 12, 1975  Presidential Protection
Jul. 11, 1973  Presidential Reorganization
Mar. 07, 1973  Presidential Accountability
Sep. 24, 1971  Presidential Diplomacy
Nov. 11, 1970  Vice Presidency
Oct. 02, 1968  Presidential Power
Mar. 14, 1966  War Powers of the President
Nov. 23, 1960  Transfer of Executive Power
Apr. 04, 1956  Vice Presidency
Oct. 15, 1952  Change of Presidents
Jun. 09, 1950  President and Mid-Term Elections
Oct. 20, 1948  Federal Patronage
Mar. 24, 1948  The South and the Presidency
Dec. 05, 1947  Military Leaders and the Presidency
Apr. 16, 1947  Veto Power of the President
Sep. 20, 1945  Succession to the Presidency
Sep. 12, 1940  The War Powers of the President
Feb. 11, 1938  Emergency Powers of the President
Jan. 06, 1938  The Power to Declare War
Dec. 28, 1937  Extension of the Veto Power
Dec. 28, 1936  Limitation of the President's Tenure
Mar. 12, 1935  The President and the Congress
Dec. 16, 1932  The Veto Power of the President
May 28, 1931  Presidential Commissions
Oct. 23, 1928  Presidential Appointments and the Senate
Mar. 21, 1928  Business Conditions in Presidential Years
Jan. 20, 1927  The Monroe Doctrine
Mar. 18, 1925  The President's Power of Appointment
Sep. 10, 1923  The President's Position on Patronage
Crime and Law Enforcement
Gun Control