US Politicians Appeal To Base Through Humble Vehicles

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon
us politicians appeal to base through humble vehicles

As campaign season rolls out, politicians are appealing to their constituents — or at least, trying to appeal to them — by appearing to be on their level, including their choice of vehicle that they otherwise may have traded in for a Lexus or Mercedes a long time ago in their political career.

Bloomberg reports candidates are trading in their luxury rides for image-building vehicles such as Chevrolet Silverados, Harley-Davidson Road Kings, Toyota Prii, or — if vehicles in general would negatively affect their campaigning — the Shoe Leather Express. The strategy is meant to bring an air of humility on the campaign trail, which is needed to counter the charge that those who work on Capitol Hill are out of touch with the people they represent.

Aside from those who already see this tool through a cynical lens, vehicular appeal can have its drawbacks. In his failed bid for presidency, 1988 Democrat nominee Michael Dukakis turned up in a tank to appeal to those who heavily support the military. While the tactic worked for British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and despite his service in the United States Army, the photo-op turned into a tool for opponent George Bush’s campaign, lambasting Dukakis for looking silly.

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  • Mikey Mikey on Jun 21, 2014

    I have to say, I find these debates very informative. I certainly don't begin to understand higher economics. I did learn basic economics at a very young age. If you make a Hundred dollars a week, and spend a Hundred and Ten, unless you find a way to increase your income, sooner or later its going to bite you in the butt. I would have to think that large, and small business would need to adhere to such principles. I'm sincere when I ask, what makes governments any different? Is carrying a huge debt, and its interest, acceptable because its all for the common good? Can anybody answer that?

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    • Mikey Mikey on Jun 21, 2014

      @Landcrusher Okay. that answers some questions. Thanks guys.

  • Mikey Mikey on Jun 21, 2014

    Back in the 80's the unions supported the far left NDP. So we go to this political BBQ. It was family friendly, kids and dogs and lots od descrete and well hidden Beer. I hade my then 18 year old daughter with me. So the candidate that's running is manning the grill, and shaking hands. The dude has got Levis on, and a CAW Tee shirt. Brother, this and brother, that. I didnt here any F bombs from him. By the same token, he didn't speak like the Lawyer that he is. I guess he is just another working dude Eh ? Well a working dude that speaks fluent French, and is also a Rhodes scholar. The son of a carrer diplomat. He had travelled, and been schooled though out the world. The guy could sit down at a piano, and play just about any tune you wanted. Well, the guy won the election. So when he shows up on the news with his 1500 dollar tailored suit on. My daughter says "that can't be the same guy that was flipping burgers for us". She learned a little politics that day.

    • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Jun 21, 2014

      @mikey - that is the best comment on this blog to date. As much as Xeranar wants to deny the emotive component of politics and how one's emotions temper perception, it is all about connecting with voters on those levels. Politicians just like TV commercials try to give us what we want. We want validation and the good one's sell that in spades.

  • Ihatetrees Ihatetrees on Jun 21, 2014

    Any politician who owned solid performance iron with 3 pedals (Mustang GT, Corvette Z06, CTS, M3, etc...) AND mocked his critics by calling them kill-joys weenies, would get a $1000 check from me.

  • Ronnie Schreiber Ronnie Schreiber on Jun 22, 2014

    I don't particularly care what cars or trucks they drive, but before I vote for someone I want to know if they can solder an electrical joint and frame a squared 2X4 wall. I'm pretty sure that nobody who currently attends cabinet meetings in Washington can do either of those two things even if you spotted them the hint that squaring a wall has something to do with diagonals. We're ruled by the faculty lounge, and it ain't the engineering department. Like a great man once said, paraphrased, I'd rather be governed by the first 2,000 names in the local phonebook than ruled by the faculty at the local college. How many people in Washington would feel culturally comfortable at a custom car and hot rod show? FWIW, many of the people newly elected to Congress in 2010 and 2012 had actually done something, like running small businesses or being medical practitioners, before going into politics. I'm not sure it really matters since the bureaucratic state seems to be run for the benefit of the people running the bureaucratic state. They're special and different rules apply to them. Anyone want to try to tell the IRS that you can't produce records due to a hard drive crash? How many of you with kids have told them at one time or another, "That's not even a good lie"?

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    • Xeranar Xeranar on Jun 22, 2014

      @Ronnie Schreiber I don't know, how many engineers understand due process, constitutional privacy, or how legislation to handle environmental concerns work? Not to mention labor laws, economic controls instituted through the Federal Reserve and the tax code. It's as simple as that. You want to base your vote and subjective opinion of legislators on an irrelevant skill to their work that's fine. But don't try and make it an objective judgment that means anything upon them as legislators.