« On the Move
On the Move
There are many ways in which a vehicle can be used to spread a
campaign's message. One can attach loudspeakers to the top or
have someone inside with a sound system and broadcast a message.
One can slap a bumpersticker on the rear bumper. In the 1992 New
Hampshire primary campaign, activists in the Nader write-in effort
plywood pencils fashioned from 8' sheets of plywood to the tops of
cars. Nowadays with vinyl wraps, one can wrap a car or bus with a
candidate's (or possible candidate's) face and message. For
example in 2003 during the New Hampshire primary campaign, the
Lieberman campaign had a PT Cruiser wrapped. The bus or RV tour
has been a staple of campaigns for decades. Usually the campaign
will come up
with a catchy slogan for the tour. When the vehicle is on the
between events, it serves as a moving billboard. Sometimes the
campaign will bring reporters on board for interviews. One of the
most famous buses was Sen. John McCain's "Straight Talk Express."
A candidate does not need a full fledged bus, however; during his Iowa
caucus campaign, former Sen. Rick Santorum traveled to events in "the
Chuck Truck," a pick up truck driven by key supporter Chuck
Laudner. The Santorum campaign also grabbed some attention by sponsoring a car in the Feb. 26,
2012 Daytona 500. Messages on the move need not be kept to the
ground, either. In
2008 supporters of Ron Paul famously organized a blimp. Finally,
in terms of traveling in style, incumbent presidents are a cut above;
their ability to arrive on Air Force One or Marine One
dramatically conveys the power of the office.
|Photo: Iowa with Newt
|late Dec. 2011--The Gingrich bus
a few days before his Jobs and Prosperity tour in Iowa.
Photo: Mike Dec, 4president.org
|Dec. 17, 2011--The Perry bus in Algona, Iowa on day four of his two-and-a-half week tour.|
|Photo: Friends of Herman Cain
|Early August 2011--Herman Cain
a "Common Sense Solutions" bus tour in Iowa.
Conant/Pawlenty for President
|July 18, 2011--Former Gov. Tim
Pawlenty (R-MN) looks at his "Road to Results" RV at the start of a
five-day, 687 mile tour scheduled to visit
13 counties and 18 cities in Iowa
from July 18-22, 2011.
|Photo: Mike Dec, 4president.org|
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) brought her bus to the Independence Day parade in downtown Clear Lake, Iowa on July 4, 2011.
|Former Gov. Sarah
Palin (R-AK)'s "One Nation" bus tour, which started May 29, 2011 in the
Washington, DC area, generated a lot of attention.
|Photo: Buddy Roemer for President
|Exploratory candidate former
Buddy Roemer (R-LA) traveled around New
Hampshire on April 12-15, 2011 in an
RV driven by a supporter.
|Photo: The Keagle
|In addition to vehicles
organized by the campaigns, supporters sometimes take matters into
their own hands as with the Ron Paul blimp from 2008 mentioned
above. David Keagle of Saint Charles, Iowa
created a "Constitution Coach," a red, white and blue former school bus
that carries the message of Ron Paul in parades and events. (more)
Pre-Campaign Book Tour Buses
Mike Huckabee: "A Simple Christmas" (started Nov. 4, 2009 +) and "A Simple Government" (started Feb. 27, 2011 +).
Sarah Palin: "Going Rogue" (started Nov. 18, 2009 +).
See also: Ryan J. Reilly, "Obama To Use New Secret Service Bus On Campaign Trail." Talking Points Memo, April 21, 2011.