An old classmate from grad school days at Harvard wrote back to me on Facebook: “Should they have been Toyotas?” in Response to my post on Obama’s super luxury Million dollar Cadillac Campaign buses purchased by the Secret Service. Up to a point, I think the answer has to be yes: Obama should have purchased the cheapest possible buses using his own private funds, because the purpose of these buses is plainly for campaigning in the Presidential Election of 2012….if the world really survives past December of next year, contrary to some predictions….of which my old Harvard Colleague knows and has published much more than I know….
President Barack Obama’s limo is a “Beast” but his new bus is a even more of a monster.
The US leader swept onto the campaign trail Monday with a sleek and even sinister looking set of wheels with blacked out windows worth $1.1 million.
The shiny, black armored bus, bristling with secret communications technology, with flashing police-style red and blue lights on the front and the back, made its debut on Obama’s three-day tour of Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois.
The vehicle was commissioned by the Secret Service, which has always hired buses for election campaigns and retrofitted them to provide suitable protection for presidents and rival party nominees.
But the Service decided to commission its own vehicles, reasoning that the initial total outlay of 2.2 million dollars for two buses would soon pay for itself over a projected 10-year lifespan.
“We have demonstrated the need for these buses going back to 1980,” said Ed Donovan, a Secret Service spokesman, recalling the days when future president Ronald Reagan stormed the country by bus.
Each of the new buses will be available to Obama and the eventual Republican presidential nominee if required through the duration of the 2012 election season.
But because they are part of the official US government fleet, campaigns will not be able to splash their political logos or other banners over the buses, which will retain their black paint schemes.
The vehicles will also be used as secure, mobile locations for the Secret Service when protectees travel to remote locations, Donovan said.
Officials declined to disclose the exact specifications of each bus, but said the precautions were in line with those taken for other presidential vehicles, including Obama’s hulking limousine, nicknamed the “Beast.”
The official Cadillac has thick reinforced doors and reportedly has bullet-proof glass and is tough enough to withstand a rocket-propelled grenade or chemical attack.
The vehicle is flown around the world in huge US cargo aircraft, and appears wherever Obama does.
John Hoopes Should they have been Toyotas?36 minutes ago · Like
Charles E. Lincoln Well, last time I checked, Cadillac is part of General Motors Corporation, into which the United States invested $53 billion in 2009. ALL of the current members of the Board of Directors of General Motors were appointed in July 2009 or afterwards. The United States Treasury Department has divested itself down from a 61% ownership in GM in November of last year to 26.5%. The point is that such expenditures in support of NOTHING but the President’s reelection campaign are entirely a matter of an executive branch agency taking advantage of a company which is effectively controlled by the U.S. Government. At 25.5% ownership, the U.S. Government is still the largest shareholder of the Corporation, the “Control” Shareholder beyond any reasonable doubt. So this is a case of self-dealing: the government buys buses for a President’s private use and purposes from a government controlled corporation which would not exist at all (it would have gone bankrupt and been sold off to other entities/investors) because nobody wanted to buy GM anymore, and I would have said, “so what?” My grandmother and her sister always used to love their big old Fleetwood Broughams, while my grandfather drove a much less showy Oldsmobile, but what was good for GM in the 1950s was not necessarily good for the US and OBVIOUSLY nobody in management survived the Government takeover. So this is now Corporate Socialism in action. Obama gets to run for reelection in vehicles produced by the U.S. owned car-manufacturer. It is absolutely perfect, just perfect.14 minutes ago · Like
Charles E. Lincoln You know, I like to wear clothes from Brooks Brothers. Many U.S. Presidents have worn suits and shirts & ties from Brooks Brothers, but the U.S. Government didn’t own Brooks Brothers and the U.S. Treasury didn’t pay for those Presidents’ outfits either. A President is entitled to buy whatever cars or clothes he can afford for himself, and part of his job is to look good and by extension make the country look good. Nothing was worse than LBJ getting undressed and showing his surgery scars and “private parts” to visiting dignitaries—clothes have a purpose. I kind of like the idea that all Presidents used to bring their own silverware to the White House (even as late as FDR and Truman) because the government didn’t provide them with much of anything to use on a regular basis. That’s how it ought to be. Think of Evon Z. Vogt and Sally Falk Moore as Masters of Kirkland and Dunster Houses back at school. They got the Master’s residence to live in but basically had to provide all their own amenities. HU hardly operates on debt, but they didn’t use any endowment to provide even top professors and house masters with anything other than space. This is the history of socialism everywhere: it serves the purposes of the corrupt Elite or those who corruptly aspire to Elite Status without work. And yes, that clearly includes the former one-term Senator from Illinois.