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Bush Races for Votes at Daytona 500
Yahoo news ^ | Sun, Feb 15, 2004 | JENNIFER LOVEN

Posted on 02/15/2004 11:07:29 AM PST by Kaslin

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - President Bush (news - web sites) was giving the "Drivers, start your engines" cry Sunday to begin NASCAR (news - web sites)'s Daytona 500 in a high-profile speedway visit to court the highly sought votes of the millions of fans of one of the nation's fastest-growing sports.

Boarding Air Force One with his wife, Laura, to leave Washington's sunny cold for breezy Florida and what has been called the "Great American Race," Bush made gestures to reporters as if he were steering a car around an oval track.

By the time he arrived at the track, he had donned a "Daytona 500" jacket.

"He looks forward to attending this big event in NASCAR," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Friday. "He views it as a way to really honor some true champions, both for what they do on the track and what they do off the track."

The track has a history of attracting presidents. President Reagan came to Daytona for the Firecracker 400 during his 1984 re-election campaign. Bush's father stopped by the Daytona 500 during his unsuccessful run for a second term in 1992. The president himself came in July 2000 to watch the Pepsi 400 when he was running for president.

Bush's appearance at Daytona International Speedway for stock car racing's most prestigious and lucrative race provides him with an unbeatable opportunity to reach out this election year's coveted "NASCAR dad" constituency — stereotyped as mostly white, male and Southern even though the sport's reach is much broader.

He planned to make the most of it, conducting a brief interview with NBC, the event's official broadcaster, and another with Motor Racing Network from the control tower during the race that will ensure exposure well beyond the 200,000 or so fans expected at the track.

On the way in for landing, the president's jet made a low, fast loop above and around the track, which attract thousands of camera flashes. Then his motorcade of a couple dozen vehicles took a loop around the oval, stopping to let the president and Mrs. Bush out on pit row.

His visit also coincided with a voter registration drive being put on at the track all weekend by the Republican National Committee (news - web sites). GOP volunteers, accompanied by a "Race to Victory" motor coach, were aiming to bring 6,000 to 8,000 voters onto its rolls and get them to sign a banner supporting Bush's re-election.

To preview the event, the White House even featured NASCAR driver Michael Waltrip on its online "Ask the White House" chat session.

Bush was to stay for much of the race but leave before it ends and thousands of rowdy revelers pour into Daytona Beach's streets. The president was spending Sunday night in Tampa, where he planned an event focused on his economic agenda and accomplishments on Monday.


TOPICS: Extended News; Politics/Elections; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: 2004; daytona500; electionpresident; gwb2004; nascar; nascardads; racetovictory; rnc; voterdrives
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Not sure if I should have added the Barf alert to the title or not
1 posted on 02/15/2004 11:07:29 AM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin
Sounds like a good article, even with the obligatory reference to it being an event of Southern white males.
2 posted on 02/15/2004 11:10:57 AM PST by Paul Atreides (Is it really so difficult to post the entire article?)
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To: Kaslin

3 posted on 02/15/2004 11:13:21 AM PST by ohioWfan (BUSH 2004 - Leadership, Integrity, Morality)
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To: ohioWfan

He may get votes, but he's having a GOOD time!

4 posted on 02/15/2004 11:16:22 AM PST by ohioWfan (BUSH 2004 - Leadership, Integrity, Morality)
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To: ohioWfan
I wanna see Air Force one with flaps and wheels down at full power doing the circuit above the track.....awesome......and dashole was deeply saddened (again)
5 posted on 02/15/2004 11:19:03 AM PST by spokeshave (She said one of the men yelled after the retreating burglar: "And that's just our womenfolk.")
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To: ohioWfan
My thoughts too! I'm GLAD he went, glad he bonded with the crowd, glad he had a good time. The RATS can just tear at their fur and eat their ratty little hearts out.

Bwahaha!

Prairie
6 posted on 02/15/2004 11:20:06 AM PST by prairiebreeze (WMD's in Iraq -- The absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence.)
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To: spokeshave
A totally useful antidote to the ridiculousness going on in certain other quarters of the country right now (ahem...Massachusetts).
7 posted on 02/15/2004 11:20:11 AM PST by MoralSense
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To: spokeshave
Me too, I want to see that too! Sounds awesome!

Prairie
8 posted on 02/15/2004 11:20:31 AM PST by prairiebreeze (WMD's in Iraq -- The absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence.)
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To: Kaslin
Bush Races for Votes at Daytona 500

Ahh... Media bias at it's finest.

9 posted on 02/15/2004 11:21:37 AM PST by SunStar (Democrats piss me off!)
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To: Kaslin
You have my voet for the Barf Alert. I watched part of the media coverage of President Bush. He did look like he was having a good time.
10 posted on 02/15/2004 11:22:05 AM PST by FourPeas (!)
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To: spokeshave
Awesome is right! Never seen a flyover like THAT before!
11 posted on 02/15/2004 11:22:06 AM PST by ohioWfan (BUSH 2004 - Leadership, Integrity, Morality)
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To: ohioWfan
LOL, the person who wrote this doesn't have a clue. President Bush didn't go to "get" the votes, he's already GOT them. NASCAR is middle America, the real people.
12 posted on 02/15/2004 11:22:25 AM PST by McGavin999 (Evil thrives when good men do nothing!)
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To: FourPeas
Did all the stations show it?

I missed it! Tell me all of it!
13 posted on 02/15/2004 11:23:58 AM PST by Howlin
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To: prairiebreeze
A REAL person bonding with REAL people, prairie.

It's going to keep happening all through this election season, and it's going to drive the RATS crazy! Ya gotta love it!

14 posted on 02/15/2004 11:24:22 AM PST by ohioWfan (BUSH 2004 - Leadership, Integrity, Morality)
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To: prairiebreeze
On the race thread hole n one got a screenshot of AF1 flying over the track! Awesome.
15 posted on 02/15/2004 11:25:13 AM PST by Carolinamom
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To: ohioWfan
Looks like great pics for the Dose. Are we going to have an early one?
16 posted on 02/15/2004 11:26:05 AM PST by Kaslin (The question is not where are the WMD, but what did Saddam do with them)
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To: deport

From McGruff


17 posted on 02/15/2004 11:27:12 AM PST by deport (BUSH - CHENEY 2004 ..... 262 days until Tuesday 2 November...'True Conservatives' whatcha gonna do?)
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To: Kaslin
By the time he arrived at the track, he had donned a "Daytona 500" jacket.

I'll bet the liberals will criticize him for wearing a Daytona 500 jacket, when he's never professionally raced a car. They'll probably throw in his 40-year-old speeding tickets in for good measure, and say he promotes irresponsible driving!

18 posted on 02/15/2004 11:27:37 AM PST by NYCVirago
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To: FourPeas; Admin Moderator; All
Should we ask the Admin Moderator to add the Barf alert?
19 posted on 02/15/2004 11:28:15 AM PST by Kaslin (The question is not where are the WMD, but what did Saddam do with them)
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To: ohioWfan
Gee- He shouldnt have put that jacket on, then people may think that he once drove a car...

Maybe he should have worn pit overalls...then walked down the track as if it were an aircraft carrier...
20 posted on 02/15/2004 11:28:56 AM PST by cameronsmom (Sarcasm is fun!)
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