How long does Secret Service protection last?

I assume that any president and first lady get SS protection for the rest of their lives. What about Romney/Gingrich/Santorum? Does one still get SS protection after they are no longer a contender (like Herman Cain)? How about Amy Carter, Chelsea Clinton? Does the SS still follow Jenna Bush Hagar to her job at NBC?

At this point, are all of Romney’s family protected, or just him? (This information is probably classified “hush-hush”, which is one step below “confidential”)

Does the Secret Service protect foreigners (like Sarkozy when he vacationed in NH in 2010), or is that the responsibility of their own country?

And on a related note: I see that Obama and Prime Minister Cameron were at an NCAA game last night. Was this known in advance? How much of an inconvenience was this for the hoi polloi?

Starting with President Bush (43), Secret Service protection lasts ten years after leaving office. Clinton is the last president to be entitled to lifetime protection.

Major party candidates receive protection at the discretion of the Secret Service. Typically they wait for the major primaries to narrow the field so they don’t have to protect every nutball out there on a ballot somewhere. If they feel it is necessary, a campaign may request protection. Whether the request is granted is up to the Secret Service. A notable example is Barack Obama, who received more than the usual amount of violent threats, and had Secret Service protection earlier in his campaign than is typical. Protection ends when candidates lose or drop out, unless there’s some reason not to.

I believe children of former presidents lose their protection upon attaining adulthood, but that policy may have changed in recent years.

The Secret Service does help protect foreign dignitaries when deemed necessary by the president. Otherwise the Diplomatic Security Service generally handles it alone.

This is no longer correct. From Wikipedia, “Former Presidents and their spouses for their lifetimes except when the spouse divorces or remarries. In 1997, legislation became effective limiting Secret Service protection to former Presidents and their spouses for a period of not more than 10 years from the date the former President leaves office making Bill and Hillary Clinton the last to receive lifetime protection.” The article also lists others who receive protection from the Secret Service.

I believe that their was a proposal to repeal the 1997 Act and infact expand security protection due to the post 9-11 era.

I’m sure there was; there are proposals to repeal all sorts of stuff all the time. But it wasn’t repealed.

This reminds me of an odd thing in the new HBO movie “Game Change” about McCain and Palin. At one point a McCain aide shows Palin her new SS guards and tells her they are going to be with her for the rest of her life.

Umm, pardon? Even if she won it would only while she was VP. And if she later became president, as this thread points out, not for the rest of her life.

Stuff like this just takes me out of a movie. Woody Harrelson should know better!

I think that scene in the movie Game Change was intended to make sure that then-Gov. Palin understood just how much her life would change from then on.