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Politics on Wheels: Critiquing Campaign Buses

Like any design element of a political campaign, a candidate’s bus is important for how it represents the candidate himself.


The return of campaign season means the buses are back, as presidential hopefuls ditch their blazers and roll up their shirtsleeves to partake in the decades-old tradition of campaigning on the road. Most years, the buses themselves don’t get much attention—they’re simply the vehicles for their candidates’ messages. But that all changed last week, when Senator John McCain dissed the President's campaign bus on the Senate floor.

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. McCain took offense to the bus’s origin—the vehicle’s shell and chassis was purchased from a Canadian manufacturer and customized in Nashville—but he also critiqued its visual appeal.

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Campaign Kids: Jon Huntsman's Daughters and the Politics of Family Jon Huntsman's Daughters and the Politics of Family

Jon Huntman's trio of hottie daughters are on the campaign trail with him. But can candidate children really have an opinion?


Jon Huntsman will probably not be our next president. His poll numbers have hit an all-time low, leading some to believe that he won't even qualify for the next debate. But that's not stopping him from staying in the race and continuing to use his secret weapon: his incredibly attractive, telegenic family.

Huntsman's seven kids, in particular, have been front and center in his bid for the GOP nomination. Annie Leibovitz shot luminous photos of them for a Vogue feature story. Huntsman's campaign site features videos of him with his family on the campaign trail. His leggy, cheerleader-ish daughters, Mary Anne, Liddy, and Abby, have even set up a Twitter handle for him, @Jon2012girls—tweeting anything from Miss USA Utah photos to fun family factoids.

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The Almost-Candidate: The Sarah Palin School of Activism

Sarah Palin joins the ranks of political rabble-rousers who'd rather threaten to run for president than deal with the mundane task of governing.


It's been three years almost to the day since Sarah Palin first appeared on our television screens, and it's been three years minus a few months since we've all been speculating whether she'll run for president in 2012. Lately, it's become pretty clear that she probably wouldn't win the nomination if she did run, let alone the general election. Her refusal to confirm her candidacy has elicited frustration, scorn, and even viciousness from the media, but her method is hardly innovative. Threatening to run for president is a tried-and-true strategy to get people to listen to you, and Sarah Palin is employing it brilliantly.

Sure, a lot of people think Palin is a megalomaniac. She's been accused of opportunism, of having too little substance and too much folksy rhetoric. Many journalists have theorized that she's leaving her decision about the campaign to the last minute so that she can squeeze out as much money from her speaking gigs as possible. (Conversely, there are those who think she has to run for president, or else the jig—and the cash flow—is up.) I too see the disingenuous gleam in her eye, and it makes her success all the more irritating.

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Joel Francis: Prop 23 Debate Offer Rejected Again by Koch Industries

Joel Francis wants to debate Charles Koch about Prop 23 and the legitimacy of out of state oil money funding California election. Koch wants no part.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZjeqJsv4ro&feature=player_embedded

Earlier this week, we told you about Joel Francis, the California student and former marine who challenged the billionaire oilmen Koch brothers to debate Prop 23. Having received no response, he set out for the Wichita headquarters of Koch Industries, where he arrived on Tuesday and was rebuffed once again. With heightened security. (See video above.) From Francis:

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