Right-wing blogs are claiming that in planning a bus tour to the Midwest later this month, President Obama has "copie[d]" Sarah Palin, who embarked on a bus tour earlier this year. In fact, Obama went on a bus tour during his 2008 campaign, and for decades sitting presidents and presidential candidates have traveled the nation by bus.
Right-Wing Blogs: Obama Bus Tour "Copies Palin" ...
Fox Nation: "Obama Copies Palin, Plans Bus Tour." Fox Nation announced the news of President Obama's bus tour with the following headline:
[Fox Nation, 8/3/11]
Doug Powers: Obama Is "Taking A Page From Sarah Palin." Conservative blogger Doug Powers wrote on Michelle Malkin's website that Obama is "[t]aking a page from Sarah Palin's rolling menace," and accompanied his post with the following picture:
The Blaze Asks If Obama Is A "Copycat" For "Palin-esque" Bus Tour. In a post headlined "Copycat? Obama Admin Plans To Address Economy With Palin-Esque Midwest Bus Tour," Glenn Beck's blog The Blaze reported: "If you haven't heard yet, let us be the first to inform you: President Obama is planning to set out on a Sarah Palin-esque bus tour throughout the Midwest." [The Blaze, 8/3/11]
... But Presidents And Presidential Candidates Have Long Toured America By Bus
Obama Toured Pennsylvania By Bus In 2008. On March 24, 2008, The Boston Globe reported:
After a brief respite in the Virgin Islands, a rally in North Carolina, and a little fund-raising in New York, Barack Obama returns to Pennsylvania Friday for a six-day bus tour, his campaign announced today.
The bus tour kicks off in Western Pennsylvania, home to Pittsburgh, and concludes in the southeast part of the state, where Philadelphia is located. [The Boston Globe, 3/24/08]
McCain's "Straight Talk Express" Bus Tours Were Regular Feature Of Both 2000 and 2008 Campaigns. CNN's Candy Crowley reported on March 15, 2007:
The bus is back.
Sen. John McCain has revived the "Straight Talk Express," the campaign conveyance made famous in his 2000 bid for the Republican presidential nomination, for his new run. The Arizona lawmaker was back on board Thursday afternoon, hitting town-hall meetings in Iowa, the scene of the first caucuses of the 2008 GOP campaign.
"I'm still the same candidate I was -- little bit older, but still the same candidate," he said. "We're still having fun. We're still on the bus, still having the town hall meetings in the same way that we were before, and I'm convinced we're doing fine." [CNN.com, 3/15/07]
Bush Toured By Bus in 2000 And 2004. The Los Angeles Times reported on President Bush's 2004 bus tour:
Shadowing his political rival, President Bush will forsake Air Force One next week and campaign by bus in Michigan and Ohio, two key battleground states.
News outlets in Iowa and Wisconsin reported that Bush's bus tour would stop later next week in those states, but the White House refused to confirm the reports.
As a presidential candidate in 2000, Bush campaigned occasionally by bus. Next week's bus tour, though, would be his first as president. [Los Angeles Times, 4/29/04]
Kerry Also Toured Midwest By Bus In 2004. The Chicago Tribune reported on 2004 Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry's (D-MA) bus tour:
As Kerry undertook a final weekend of grass-roots campaigning before an expected running mate announcement this week, his Midwest bus trip was meant to make him look real, not part of Washington.
After Kerry traveled through northern Minnesota and western Wisconsin on Friday, his three-day bus trip took him to the river's banks Saturday as part of a 546-mile journey that will end Sunday evening in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. [Chicago Tribune, 7/4/04]
Clinton Toured The Pacific Northwest In 1996 On A Bus. CNN's Wolf Blitzer reported: "Winding up their Pacific Northwest campaign bus trip, President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore came to Portland to brag about their efforts to streamline the federal government over the past three years." [CNN.com, 9/20/96]
Clinton Also Toured By Bus In 1992. The New York Times reported:
"We interrupt 'Family Feud' to bring you special coverage," a sober-voiced announcer alerted viewers of WKBT-TV, the CBS affiliate in western Wisconsin.
Was it a war? Was it a tornado? A major address from the Oval Office?
It was Gov. Bill Clinton's made-for-television bus tour, rolling from local media market to media market. The caravan was more than an hour late getting from its hotel to a 9 A.M. rally Friday at a park in La Crosse, Wis., but that did not stop the station from going live for the next 90 minutes.
It was the sort of abundant and friendly coverage that no paid commercial could match. The Bill Clinton-Al Gore bus tour is, in essence, a free commercial on wheels. At every stop and in between on their three-day trip zigzagging up the Mississippi River, the Democrats were showered with largely uncritical and often downright enthusiastic reports from television, radio and newspapers. Seeing Wave of Future
Riding the bus may seem like a throwback, but Democrats say it is the wave of the future in Presidential campaigns. [The New York Times, 8/9/92]
Bob Dole Toured New Jersey By Bus In 1996. The New York Times reported: "In what would be his first bus tour in this campaign season, Bob Dole plans to roll through New Jersey on Monday and Tuesday in hopes of building support among swing voters and securing his Republican base in the state, campaign aides said." [The New York Times, 10/2/96]
George H.W. Bush Toured Illinois On A Bus In 1988. The New York Times reported: "Vice President Bush traveled by bus through central Illinois today, trying to convince crowds in one town after another that Gov. Michael S. Dukakis is a liberal. ... The 120-mile tour highlighted the importance of Illinois and the closeness of the race for the state's 24 electoral votes." [The New York Times, 9/29/88]
Reagan Campaigned By Bus In 1980. New York magazine reported that Reagan took "a hectic ten-stop bus tour through the eerily snowless hills of New Hampshire on February 5." [New York, 2/25/80]
During 1960 Democratic Primary, JFK, Hubert Humphrey Toured West Virginia By Bus. From a Huntington Advertiser article:
Sen. Humphrey, also paying a return visit to the Mountain State, took off from Charleston early this morning in a chartered bus with "Here Comes Humphrey" on the front. Humphrey in full and explosive oratorical form despite scores of whistle-stop talks lately, is making a two-day tour of West Virginia's mountains and valleys. His route will be through coal-mining sections of the state's central and northeastern parts, and into the Eastern Panhandle, an area of orchards and poultry farms.
Kennedy is making a three-day bus tour. It will take him across the southern coal fields to Bluefield, on the Virginia border, then northeast through the bluegrass farming country of the placid Greenbrier Valley. The senator will wind up in Charles Town on Wednesday evening, a day behind Humphrey. [Huntington Advertiser, 4/25/60]