David Axelrod, President Obama’s senior advisor, is now being protected by the U.S. Secret Service, according to reports from Federal Law Enforcement News website www.ticklethewire.com. In his role as senior advisor, Axelrod’s portfolio was recently expanded to include management of President Obama’s healthcare reform initiative.

Sources familiar with the situation said Axelrod picked up the detail in the past two weeks.

U.S. Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan declined to provide details, but said: “I can confirm that he is a protectee of the Secret Service.” He declined to say why Axelrod, 54, had picked up the detail or whether there had been any recent threats.

Last month, Axelrod was spotted with a Secret Service detail at Manny’s, his favorite Chicago deli on South Jefferson.

The White House did not immediately respond and asked that questions be submitted via email. The White House had yet to respond to the written questions as of late afternoon Tuesday. Later on, the White House declined to comment.

The Secret Service provides protection for the President and Vice President and their families, his chief of staff and some other members of the cabinet.

But people like Axelrod don’t automatically get protection unless it’s authorized by the Department of Homeland Security and approved by the White House with an executive order.

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