They say that perception is important, especially in politics. So even though Obama's new, tricked-out bus for his three-day, Midwest bus tour was purchased through a U.S. retailer, the fact that it was made in Canada will surely raise some eyebrows.
Rumors started swirling this week on blogs and in comment sections that Obama's bus -- nicknamed "Greyhound One" -- was not American-made, which is ironic considering part of the president's goal on the tour has been to talk about jobs and getting Americans back to work. The New York Post reveals the large vehicles were originally built in Canada by luxury bus-maker Prevost:
President Obama is barnstorming the heartland to boost US jobs in a taxpayer-financed luxury bus the government had custom built -- in Canada, The Post has learned.
The $1.1 million vehicle, one of two that Quebec-based Prevost sold the government, has been tricked out by the Secret Service with state-of-the-art security features and creature comforts.
It's a VIP H3-45 model, the company's top of the line, and is used by major traveling rock bands.
"That's the more luxurious model," Christine Garant of Prevost told The Post.
The luxury liner apparently has electronic equipment allowing him to communicate worldwide, armored doors, flat-screen TVs, and comfy couches. But while it has a bathroom, it doesn't have a sleeping area.
Despite being made in Canada, the Post says, the Government purchased the bus (plus an additional one) for $2.2 million from retailer Hemphill Brothers Coach, based in Tennessee.
Still, the contract allegedly made clear where the buses were made: "The contract lists the country of origin as Canada and place of manufacture as "outside U.S. - Trade Agreements," a possible reference to the North American Free Trade Agreement."
So, should the president be blasted for buying buses not made in America? During times of fiscal restraint, it could be that the government got the best deal by buying foreign buses, so we can't say for sure. But then again, perception is everything.
Check out some famous campaign buses and tell us what you think below?