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Not the merry pranksters

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Kathleen Parker
August 17, 2011
About that bus: What could the White House have been thinking?

Here the country is reeling from depression, recession and oppression, and the president decides to take a Heartland tour in the visual equivalent of an armored hearse?


The infamous black bus that has been toting Barack Obama around for stump speeches designed to distract from the Republican hoedown in Iowa couldn’t be less effective—unless you’re Darth Vader. As the ship of state rumbles through the American countryside like a land shark from Mordor, Dick Cheney suddenly looks like Howdy Doody.


It’s incomprehensible.


A bus tour itself is not a bad idea when your aim is to reconnect with everyday people, but this one is ill-timed and looks desperate. If you’re confident in your presidency, you ignore the impotent opposition while they slug it out.


“Who, them? I’m busy.”


Otherwise, the bus is a stab in the Heartland. We’re a red, white and blue nation, colors of optimism and hope. Or, thanks to Obama’s own rhetoric, we’re at least a purple nation. Lavender polka dots would have been better than a black mass that penetrates amber waves of grain like an armada of doom.


No doubt there are mighty good reasons for the color and construction of the presidential mega-hearse, but as political symbolism, the vehicle looks like a creation out of Batman and the president appears as Paul Revere of the Apocalypse.


Whoever came up with the black bus had best be looking for a job, preferably not in public relations.


Kathleen Parker is a columnist for the Orlando Sentinel. Her email address is kathleenparker@washpost.com.

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