Who Wants to Kill Barack?
When speculation becomes front-page news, one gets the impression of legend building. If Barack Obama wins and lives to tell the tale, he’ll be the One Who Lived. The great hope whom they managed to protect (unless the reality disappoints terribly):
His wife, Michelle Obama, voiced concerns about his safety before he was elected to the Senate. Three years ago, she said she dreaded the day her husband received Secret Service protection, because it would mean serious threats had been made against him.
The thing is: I’ve yet to hear of any actual serious threats being made. The fears appear all to be grounded in assassinations from decades ago. The Kennedys and King (somehow the attempt on Reagan’s life is never mentioned).
Of course, more than one narrative can be constructed around the idea of a dead candidate, and I, for one, can’t think of any more dangerous act — in a culture that produces semi-annual mass murders perpetrated, it seems, mainly for posthumous attention — than to splash across the news media fears of having to write a candidate’s murder into the history books. That risky behavior raises an interesting question, though: Who would benefit most from the candidate’s death?