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We're all bozos on this bus
October 25, 2011 2:57 AM   Subscribe

There are few better ways to understand political candidates than their campaign buses.

Obama has been doing the bus tour and people are complaining, in part because it's so big and black. But big buses are nothing new, and they've become more colorful recently because of bus wraps *.

Here are some other people with big buses:
posted by twoleftfeet (47 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
In her account of following John Edwards on his 2003 bus tour, journalist Alexandra Pelosi noted the reactions of the locals. “That thing is bigger than our house,” the old man in overalls said to his wife. “How on earth is he going to park it?” a shopkeeper wondered as the behemoth rolled into town blasting John Cougar Mellencamp’s hit song “Small Town.”

What a total douche.
posted by hal_c_on at 3:17 AM on October 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


That ugly, Canadian-built, taxpayer-funded bus is an insult to the Straight Talk Express!

That's nuthin' - I hear that out west there's a state with a senator that was built in Panama.
posted by XMLicious at 3:22 AM on October 25, 2011


Here's a photo of the Iowa Tea Party bus.
posted by taz at 3:25 AM on October 25, 2011


Bachmann's whistle stop tour
posted by atrazine at 3:26 AM on October 25, 2011


Wow, Herman Cain has a HUGE bus.
posted by mek at 3:27 AM on October 25, 2011


Wow, Herman Cain has a HUGE bus.

Gotta make room for the pizza oven.
posted by Faint of Butt at 3:44 AM on October 25, 2011 [5 favorites]


On a three-day road trip through Virginia and North Carolina to promote his American Jobs Act, President Obama traversed the countryside in Ground Force One, a sleek black motorcoach loaded with more technology than an Apple store.


I thought Ground Force One was a tour bus provider for militaristic old farts.
posted by dunkadunc at 3:56 AM on October 25, 2011


Anyone know if Obama's bus incorporates the same sort of bullet-proofing and shielding that his limousines carry? It would seem to me that it would have to meet Secret Service requirements for safety and security.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:06 AM on October 25, 2011


And if it does have the same level of armor, just what sort of engine is making it go down the road? Or is it just designed to look like a Prevost coach, and really based on the chassis of an APC, much like how the presidential limo is based off a GMC TopKick?
posted by dunkadunc at 4:11 AM on October 25, 2011


I'm sitting here trying to process the apparent fact that a man who spent time in a prisoner-of-war camp—a man who was almost the president of the goddamned United States—is driven to near-apoplexy at the idea of one bus insulting another bus.
posted by Mothra Pisces at 4:21 AM on October 25, 2011 [18 favorites]


Obama's bus is the newest member of the presidential transportation fleet, which includes Air Force One, Marine One (the presidential helicopter), and the president's limo. It was built by Hemphill Brothers - the same people who built McCain's Straight Talk Express coach - and it cost over a million bucks. There's no way in hell you will ever know what kind of security features it has. But you can be sure that it has many.
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:25 AM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


As for the article...I was really hoping for a side-by-side design comparison, with pictures and call-outs and whatnot.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:38 AM on October 25, 2011 [6 favorites]


The Teabaggers will calm down as soon as they learn the President's quarters are still in the BACK of the bus.
posted by spitbull at 4:41 AM on October 25, 2011 [17 favorites]


Wow. These all make the Wellstone bus look like a Tonka truck.
posted by Elly Vortex at 5:00 AM on October 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


Tangentially related... I've been trying to find an interesting video which I saw on the news many years ago. George H. W. Bush was president and he was giving a speech in some Asian country, I forget which one. I remember seeing this on the news. It wasn't a big deal, but I remember seeing him giving the speech, flanked by fairly ordinary-looking guys. One guy held an umbrella (in case it rains, right?) and another guy held a briefcase (presidents have important papers with them, right?). Bush was giving a speech and somebody somewhere blew off some fire crackers. Within a fraction of a second, those mild-mannered guys sprung into action. One guy opened the umbrella and put it in front of the president's head. The other guy unfolded his briefcase and placed it in front of the president's body. Several seconds later, they rushed the president off of the stage.

I'd love to see that video again, if anybody can find it. I've never seen anywhere else a higher level of professionalism in the cause of protecting a human life, albeit a human life that wasn't actually in danger.
posted by twoleftfeet at 5:02 AM on October 25, 2011 [4 favorites]


Man, McCain's just a cranky of fart. Hard to even picture him as president at this point.
posted by octothorpe at 5:05 AM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


I found it hard to picture him as president at any point. That guy needs some laxatives and a nice long sit on a toilet in Florida somewhere. He so obviously still resents being beaten by Obama, and all the more so now that Obama has completely inverted the "Dems are wimps on national security" meme. Luckily, the right wing CAN'T HEAR YOU when you say this out loud, but that means they have to ignore foreign policy entirely (Uzi-becki-becki-becki-stan-stan anyone?), which makes McCain irrelevant even to republicans.

LOL old fart.
posted by spitbull at 5:16 AM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


As I was walking to work one morning, the Ontario PC party's media bus drove past. And I thought to myself, "wow, did they really put the word 'fools' on the side of their own bus?"

Yes, they did, and plenty of other negative phrases, too.

Now I get that these are all behind that massive "CHANGE" slogan and are meant to represent things the other parties do. But the first impression is quite the opposite. Especially since the word "change" is so big that you don't really notice it in person, and the only party name on the thing is their own.

It was quite amusing, and I wonder who thought this was a good idea?
posted by FishBike at 5:47 AM on October 25, 2011


It was built by Hemphill Brothers - the same people who built McCain's Straight Talk Express coach

So, wait-- are you telling me that John McCain is making a big stink about the origins of Obama's bus and all the while McCain's bus had the same origins? Am I missing something here? Did the Hemphill brothers used to build buses in America but now they are building them in Canada?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:53 AM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dayum.

Does Obama's bus have missles? Seems like that thing should have missles..

..and a Decepticon sticker on the side somewhere..

What's a good name for a Decepticon that turns into a bus?

Coachacrom?

Transprax?
posted by tbonicus at 5:59 AM on October 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


I hate this kind of bullshit symbolic political coverage. It's lazy and degrades the entire process.
posted by empath at 6:04 AM on October 25, 2011 [8 favorites]


I'm not a graphic designer, but even I can tell that Bachmann's bus is committing some serious design sins.
posted by drezdn at 6:06 AM on October 25, 2011


So, wait-- are you telling me that John McCain is making a big stink about the origins of Obama's bus and all the while McCain's bus had the same origins?

McCain is probably referring to the origin of the base bus that Hemphill converted. Obama's bus started life as a Prevost, whose corporate headquarters is in Canada. I have no idea what brand McCain's bus started life as, though Hemphill seems to heavily favor Prevost coaches overall.

My guess is that McCain has no clue about his bus' origins.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:08 AM on October 25, 2011


Sarah Palin has supporters.

Methinks the process has already been degraded some.
posted by tbonicus at 6:12 AM on October 25, 2011


There's no way in hell you will ever know what kind of security features it has. But you can be sure that it has many.

I am pretty sure it folds up into a giant robot, but we never got to see it, since McCain never deployed The Anti-Democrat Battle Bus in an actual battle.
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:12 AM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


My guess is that McCain has no clue about his bus' origins.

But it would be so excellent if he also had an evil foreign Canadian bus... where is the detective brigade?
posted by Meatbomb at 6:14 AM on October 25, 2011


Is on a bus, talking about buses.

Actually, those buses are looking pretty sweet bout now..
posted by tbonicus at 6:17 AM on October 25, 2011


What's a good name for a Decepticon that turns into a bus?

Airscream
posted by permafrost at 6:18 AM on October 25, 2011 [6 favorites]


...where is the detective brigade?Here's a start.

Looks like it says "Prevost" on the front.
posted by Floydd at 6:19 AM on October 25, 2011 [4 favorites]


"Airscream".

Nice.

*Looks around bus*

"Expressor"
posted by tbonicus at 6:23 AM on October 25, 2011


Oh, and it looks like Obama's bus is also insulting Bachmann's bus.
posted by Floydd at 6:25 AM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Teabaggers will calm down as soon as they learn the President's quarters are still in the BACK of the bus.

Well considering how badly Obama's been driving the country, I'd be happy to see him as far away from the steering wheel as possible.

*Kicks self again for not voting for Hillary in the last primary.*
posted by three blind mice at 6:27 AM on October 25, 2011


"Dieselseize"
posted by tbonicus at 6:38 AM on October 25, 2011


The funny thing here is that none of these people would ever ride the bus.
posted by schmod at 6:56 AM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Floydd, if you look at the original size, it's got a massive Prevost logo at the front!


Christ, what a hypocrite.
posted by Yowser at 7:01 AM on October 25, 2011


Wellstone debate in the meme-era:

I drive a green school bus. Your argument is invalid.
posted by Winnemac at 7:15 AM on October 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


Love the facebook and twitter logos on Bachmann's Canadian-built bus. If campaign buses actually matter, she's toast. Spread the word, Bachmann's bus is built in Canada!
posted by Yowser at 7:18 AM on October 25, 2011


I'm pretty sure that besides the Presidents unit, and perhaps Ron's school bus, all the others are leased from a specialized tour company complete with driver and maintenance package. Just like a country/rock concert tour would do. But none of the current campaign crop can compare to this or these.
posted by HappyHippo at 7:29 AM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, if it helps McCain, many of Canada's economic problems at the moment were made in the USA.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:31 AM on October 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


In a bid to add to the incisive political analysis so prevalent in today's broadcast media, MTV announces its new political show this fall: "Pimp My Campaign Ride".
posted by ob at 7:44 AM on October 25, 2011


Sadly, with the Republican field, it's looking like: Hype, what a Christo-crat!
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:01 AM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Of course, specially built presidential conveyances are not new.

( Full disclosure: I have ridden the Ferdinand Magellan on the back of an Amtrak train, as well as driven a train that had it on the rear end. Ask me about train handling with a 285,000 lb deadweight on the rear sometime. )
posted by pjern at 8:19 AM on October 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


I hate this kind of bullshit symbolic political coverage. It's lazy and degrades the entire process.

The election campaign process can't be further degraded. We've all been wallowing in the mud for decades.
posted by Hoopo at 10:04 AM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


“I’ve never seen an uglier bus than the Canadian one he’s traveling around on—a Canadian bus touting American jobs," McCain said, according to ABC News. He later tweeted the same sentiment, writing, “That ugly, Canadian-built, taxpayer-funded bus is an insult to the Straight Talk Express!”

Canadian buses are a travesty, but French airplanes...
posted by mysterpigg at 10:28 AM on October 25, 2011


The election campaign process can't be further degraded. We've all been wallowing in the mud for decades.

I don't know, I was never flirted with by a candidate for anything until Sarah Palin flirted with me during the VP debates last time around. I think you are selling the system short if you think it's already gone as low as it can go.
posted by TheRedArmy at 10:33 AM on October 25, 2011


TheRedArmy: " I was never flirted with by a candidate for anything until Sarah Palin flirted with me"

You bet she did! (yt)
posted by dunkadunc at 10:51 AM on October 25, 2011


My understanding is that there are actually two new presidential campaign buses; one for each candidate in the general election as the secret service supplies security for both major party candidates.

McCain should just STFU.
posted by webhund at 12:24 PM on October 25, 2011


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