Originally Posted by RedBloodedAmerican
Well, doesn't the Secret Service have to give the same protection to the challenger (maybe not exactly the same, but close.) So a good reason the white house doesn't comment on it maybe the "Wimp" factor. As Kerry not wearing one and Bush is. The Bush people don't want to damage their meme that Bush as a hero. I don't personnally think wearing a Vest is being a wimp, but I know a lot of dumbasses that do.
The level of security really isn't the same. The detail assigned to Kerry uses the same methods and tatics, but the number of agents in his detail is nothing compared to what Bush has.
Reccomendations about vests, and other things, are made to each but the final decision remains with the principal (W or Kerry). They don't have to wear the vest, but the SS can strongly reccomend it. BTW, don't assume Kerry wasn't wearing a vest for any of those debates because I'd bet he was during at least one of them. It really doesn't have anything to do with the "wimp factor" either, it's the Secret Service procedure to never comment, so it wouldn't matter who the President is.