Almost eclipsed by the PR disaster of his lavish vacation at Martha’s Vineyard was the PR debacle of President Obama’s “listening tour,” in which he blasted through small towns in a gigantic motorcade dominated by two million-dollar Canadian buses, pausing to give political speeches before hand-picked audiences. Although clearly a part of Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, this was all funded by the U.S. taxpayer, and the expense was enormous.
It turns out it might have been even more enormous than we thought, because the whole “bus tour” was a gigantic fraud. As related by Rob Port at Say Anything:
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said that the buses were necessary because “The president needs to get out in the country and meet with real folks in real places.”
“A plane [the size of Air Force One] is hard to get into small communities.”
But here’s the thing: Apparently President Obama only rode the buses for a couple of miles at a time, spending the rest of the time flying from community to community in Air Force One. What’s more, the buses were flown from stop to stop as well. It’s normal practice for the President’s entire motorcade to be loaded up on cargo planes and flown from destination to destination. The buses were just a new part of that motorcade.
But why wouldn’t the presidential limousine have sufficed? Or one of the other armored vehicles that routinely travel with the President? Apparently because the President wanted the imagery of a bus. And buses are what he got. Read more.