Friday, August 19, 2011

Barack Obama: Another One Rides the Bus

And finally, the President himself completed a campaign swing, er, I mean “listening tour” about the economy and jobs through the Midwest on the heels of the Iowa Republican debate and straw poll. Because the White House considers the tour to be “official” presidential business,” taxpayers funded the trip instead of the President's reelection committee. According to Jim Carney, “The fact that the President is not engaged in a primary election, and he is doing what presidents do, which is go out into the country and engage with the American people, and have discussions about the economy and other policy issues.”

But if this was a listening tour about jobs, the most important job that the President wants to save is his own.

In addition to the taxpayer funded trip, controversy erupted over the $1.1 million bus that the Secret Service purchased for use by the President. The bus resembled the Star Wars “Death Star” as it rolled into the Midwest. Maybe it is designed the resemble those UN black helicopters we keep hearing about.

The Secret Service purchased an additional bus for the use of the eventual Republican party nominee. And Obama is not the first president to use costly buses in a “listening” tour. Below is the Bush-Chaney Tour Bus from a few years back:

An additional brouhaha erupted when media outsets reported that the bus was manufactured by a Canadian company Prevost. If this is a jobs tours, why purchase product that only creates jobs in Canada. The report, however, proved to be a partial truth. Prevost manufactured the exterior shell of the bus, amounting to about half the cost. An American company, Hemphill Brothers Coaches of White Creek, Tennessee manufacture the luxury interior. Hemphill, which boasts such clients as Pink, Beyonce, and Keith Urban, says that its coaches allow “top entertainers to travel efficiently without losing the luxury of home.”

Despite enjoying Hemphill Coaches luxury, our Entertainer-in-Chief retreated to Martha's Vineyard for a ten day vacation following his exhausting three day bus trip.

And, of course, then there is Weird Al's number on the buses of public transit.  Despite their obvious differences, the Obama bus and public transit buses have one thing in common: the relevant line is "I think my wallet is gone."

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