Sarah Palin's campaign bus
The competition

Now that Rick Perry has announced his announcement, he's going to need to start building the framework of a presidential campaign. If I've learned anything from watching Republican politics, it is that in order to really be a contender, you're going to need a campaign bus. It needs to be big, shiny and as patriotic as all get-out. Preferably the bus needs to make the candidate's positions clear in some fashion: common themes are "I love America," "Hey, look at me" or "I really love America, so look at me."

I thought this might be a good opportunity for us to help Rick Perry design a bus suitable for his own campaign. It needs to be a firm, solid bus that encapsulates the rather less substantial candidate within. More people are going to see this bus in person than will ever see the actual candidate in person, so the bus needs to make a damn fine impression. What does Rick Perry stand for?, people will want to know. Well, we want them to be able to take one look at this bus and know. So have at it: let's help the Perry campaign out on this. I'll start with some of my own proposals:

  • Prominent on Sarah Palin's bus is a picture of the U.S. Constitution. That doesn't seem quite Perry's style: I think he would be more comfortable with a picture of either the Constitution of the Confederate States of America or the 1861 Texas Declaration of Secession. Something that says "I love America, but if America doesn't do what I say it can go to hell."
  • On the right front fender, a series of marks representing every person whose execution Rick Perry has presided over as Texas governor. Make them look like little needles, or cute little electric chairs: whatever works. The point is to get across, much like fighter pilots do, that Rick Perry has scored many, many victories in his battle to preside over more executions than anyone else, and he needs to let everyone else know that. I suggest that while most of the marks should be black, marks representing prisoners later proven innocent should be in red, to better highlight them.
  • Rick Perry doesn't believe in looking backward. If we looked backward, we might recall what happened the last time we elected a hard-conservative Texas governor with a mediocre record to be our president, and I don't think anyone on Perry's staff wants that. So Perry's campaign bus will have no rearview mirrors. Nope, not one. You may say this is a bit dangerous, but I don't think Rick Perry is of the type to care about who's behind him anyway, and besides: They say those who forget history are ... um ... probably primed for great things? I forget the expression, because I don't look backward either.
  • Texas is an oil state, and like every other GOP candidate, Perry's commitment to protecting the privileges of Big Oil is sacrosanct. If this bus doesn't get worse gas mileage than any military tank, and by a wide margin, Perry will look like a sellout. This bus needs to be followed by a trail of black smoke that can be seen for miles, if not from orbit. Rick Perry's bus should be singularly responsible for a new epidemic of childhood asthma in any state he visits. Everyone says they want to drill for more oil in America, but Perry can, in fact, be the first candidate to put a slant-well rig right on the top of his campaign bus. During each debate, the other candidates will be able to talk about wanting more oil, but Perry will be able to point to his bus in the parking lot and say, "See that? I'm drilling for oil right now."

Do you have any other ideas for the Rick Perry campaign bus? If so, let us know in comments. I'm sure we can design a bus for him that will make all the other candidates green—and not because they'll all be turning into environmentalists.

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