The main reason for the significant jump in protective expenses -- even before the new request -- stems from the fight for the Democratic nod.
Hillary Rodham Clinton entered the race in early 2007 already guarded because of her status as a former first lady. Obama, largely because of racially motivated threats against him, had agents assigned to him in May 2007. And then the two proceeded to battle until this June, with hardly any breaks from the campaign trail.
Although McCain emerged as the obvious Republican nominee in early February, he initially resisted protection, saying it would impinge on personal contact with voters. A security detail was assigned in early spring.
Poll: Obama still leads; McCain 'safer'
Neither major-party candidate has actually received his party's nomination. That doesn't come for another month.
So the new NBC-Wall Street Journal Poll is out. And even in this alleged year of the Democrat, with the Obama campaign already running general-election ads in Republican strongholds, the new July results show the Illinois Democrat's six-point lead from June has remained exactly the same as in June: six points.
According to the results, Americans (46%-41%) feel McCain is the "safer choice" for the White House. McCain leads by a larger margin (58%-46%) as the candidate with the background and set of values they most identify with. A majority (51%-27%) find themselves thinking more about what an Obama administration would be like.
Among Obama staffers, that percentage is probably even larger.
Clinton backers get behind Obama
Several of Hillary Rodham Clinton's large-sum donors have now hopped onto Barack Obama's armored truck, not just by giving merely the $2,300 individual maximum to the Illinois senator's presidential campaign.
Instead, they're shelling out far more to a special Democratic account that'll be able to spend unlimited sums to help Obama in the fall, according to a Los Angeles Times analysis by Dan Morain. That's in addition to the $1.6 million The Times identified in June donations from Clinton donors to Obama.
But it wasn't a two-way street last month. Obama's donors gave Clinton a mere $105,000 in June, despite a plea from Obama that his high-roller donors help retire her $22 million in campaign debts.
In June, Clinton donors gave $1.53 million to the Obama Victory Fund, established by Obama and the Democratic Party to raise money far in excess of the $2,300 that individuals can give to a presidential candidate. By law, the fund can receive high five-figure checks and divvy them up among various other Obama-related committees.
In fact, 64 high-end donors gave almost $1.4 million in chunks of $5,000 or more, and 36 gave $28,500 or more.
The $28,500-plus donors include several Clinton loyalists such as Los Angeles investor Marc Nathanson; his wife, Jane; Lynda Resnick; and John Emerson, a former Clinton White House official. Emerson helped arrange the big Obama fundraiser last month at the Music Center.
Excerpted from The Times' political blog, Top of the Ticket, at www.latimes.com/topoftheticket.