It’s a Family Affair

President Harry S. Truman on a whistle stop tour in 1948.

Wow, the nominating convention is even over and the Obama campaign is on the road again. Sort of.


Before Sen. Barack Obama joined Sen. Joe Biden on stage after his nomination as candidate for vice president, the Obama campaign invited people to join the Obama and Biden families them on a whistle stop tour dubbed  “An Evening on the Road to Change” on Friday, Aug. 29, in Beaver, PA.

A whistle stop is a brief personal appearance especially by a political candidate usually on the rear platform of a train during the course of a tour. Of course, when they were really in vogue train travel was pretty much all that was available. However, though the mode of transport made me different in the 21st century, the concept is still the same.

The concept isn’t original — Woodrow Wilson, Herbert Hoover, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Harry Truman  all campaigned via whistle stops –  but it will give voters an opportunity to connect with the Democratic candidates and will give them an opportunity to eat away at some of the publicity the Republicans may get on the eve of their convention in St. Paul, Minn.


Back in 2000, George Bush and Dick Cheney took a whistlestop tour by train of Ohio, Michigan and Illinois after leaving their national convention, according to Associated Press. And Bill Clinton and Al Gore launched a 1,000-mile post-convention bus tour in 1992 that took them to New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri.



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