Tuesday, February 17, 2004

No Campaigning on the Track
As we all know, George W. Bush opened the Daytona 500 race on Sunday not, or not principally, because he "likes speed," but because he buys the conventional wisdom that there's guy out there called the "NASCAR dad" -- lots of them, actually -- whose vote is up for grabs in November.
Regardless of the meaning of NASCAR dad, Bush’s appearance at the Daytona race did guarantee him face time with 180,000 people from the stands, and 35 million on TV. And even though not all fans feel the same way, NASCAR chairman Brian France said at the track on Sunday: "This is George Bush country here."

The Washington Post points out that when NBC interrupted race coverage on TV for a shot of Air Force One flying over the track and into the clouds, "he got a last shot of publicity that no opponent could buy."

So don’t be surprised to see John Kerry, or (ritual disclaimer) whoever the Democratic nominee is, at a NASCAR event or two. Of course, unlike Bush, whose trip to the Daytona 500 was called "nonpolitical" and thus tabbed to the taxpayer, Kerry will have to pay his own way.[Nitpicker emphasis]

Nothing political - a mere coincidence the last race Shrub attended was in 2000.


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