Obama’s southern gospel ride

Via KC, President Obama’s armored bus comes from none other than the family Hemphill, who may have a had a calling in southern gospel but have doubtless made a small fortune in custom motor coaches. Just this past weekend I saw one trundling down a Maryland interstate. Southern gospel is everywhere, in one form or another.

Anyway, retail price for the Secret Service for each of the two coaches used for Presidential road trips is $1.1 million. That’s some big money from big guvmint, at least by sg standards.

It’ll be interesting to see how this goes over in sg, especially within the dominionist flank of Tea Partiers in southern gospel. On the one hand, there’s a strain of hawkishness among that crowd that might see armored presidential coaches as both common sense security for the leader of the free world (which is pretty much the only point of substance that matters here at the end of the day) and a powerful symbol of American might, and made by a family with strong southern gospel ties to boot.

On the other hand, a lot of these folks really dislike Obama intensely and tend to carve out all sorts of exceptions for him and just about anything he does, so that what would have been met with a yawn if George W. Bush were to do it is considered treasonous Kenyan anti-colonial socialist communism under Obama.

In other words, it could be fun to watch. We report: you decide.

PS: And of course it can’t help that Joel Hemphill has a history of getting crossways with orthodox purists about the nature of divinity.

Update: And right on time, Karl Rove’s attack machine political action group is blasting the president for the bus’s price tag, even though the eventual Republican nominee will make use of the same bus.

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  1. Eric wrote:

    You sir, are a very bitter person.

  2. John wrote:

    Can’t stand Obama’s politics, and disagree with him on most everything. That being said, he is the POTUS, so we do all we can protect his sorry rear end. Considering all the TRILLIONS spent on stupid stuff, I am not going to get bent out of shape over $2.2 million in buses.

  3. irishlad wrote:

    Ha, what about the armour plated limo that broke down in Dublin on his State visit to Ireland,sure that was hilarious!

  4. Brett wrote:

    Given Obamab nearly 3 years office and he is a failure. Not voting for him in ‘12

  5. NG wrote:

    If I read the Hemphill Brothers website correctly http://www.hemphillbrothers.com/
    it is the sons of the Joel with the bus business. I couldn’t find any Southern Gospel groups among the various lists of the brothers’ clients.

  6. Videoguy wrote:

    Proverbs 13:22

  7. judi wrote:

    I see the client list also includes President Bush, Sarah Palin and Senator John McCain in addition to various sports, CCM, and entertainment figures. I assume some of those are leased rather than purchased. Those videos on their site show some very nice homes on wheels. I’d pick one over air travel any day!

  8. BigJohn wrote:

    Don’t we think that maybe we need to lay this at the overall leadership of the country. They all must work in harmony to not only accomplish anything but to even make our system of checks and balances work. When you draw lines that you refuse to look at in the face of crisis then you penalize all of us. The fact of the matter is it is true the President has not been able to execute the change he has promised and he may pay come election day. However, all of the chest beating and tearing down of the man does not change the fact that we had alot of fine Republican arguing about what started the fire instead of grabbing a hose and working together to put it out. Now we have lost millions of acres and we are standing here blaming each other for it. It is time that both sides focus and right the ship. Just saying but I am not bitter at all.

  9. irishlad wrote:

    5 NG,I know the top Sg groups spend big bucks on their buses,but surely the client list mentioned(and the buses they ride) are in a different league entirely,price-wise.

  10. Gary wrote:

    Thank you Big John! I was hoping someone would grab the hose and put out the fire before others started pointing the finger on here! Isn’t it funny how you get a whole lot more done when you work with someone than against?

  11. greg wrote:

    No Southern Gospel group in recent history has been able to afford a Hemphill Coach. Seems the brothers are smart, in that they lease to folks who actually pay their bills, their royalties and don’t register their million dollar Prevosts as recreational vehicles.

  12. Tjeerd wrote:

    As a small business owner, I, like the Hemphill’s cater to all clients, regardless of ideology, race, orientation, or religion.

    Not to do otherwise is pure foolishness.

  13. NG wrote:

    So I see in the attached news story that the complaints are about the fact the buses were made in Canada. Well, we do have a free trade agreement with the US.


  14. Ghart wrote:

    Does this mean he’ll be asking for an extra offering at each of his stops the first time something major breaks? Next thing you know, he’ll be seeking donations to buy himself an airplane.

  15. Max wrote:

    #14 He already has one. It’s called Air Force One. Pull your head of the dark place please.

  16. Sensible wrote:

    When I was on the road I remember we got a repair at Hemphill Brothers (replaced a windshield - I think). While we waited (for a long time) me and the other singer checked out the lease buses. I got on Wynonna’s bus, and saw all her Elvis stuff on it and her excersize bike. We also saw Faith Hill’s new ride that was gutted and fixing to be customized. Seems like the shell alone was 500,000. We also checked out John Michael Montgomery’s bus. It was an interesting day.

    No one seemed to mind as we toured the buses, but I bet they could not allow that for the Obama bus.

  17. Extra Ink wrote:

    #14, that was hilarious (caught the Pfeiffer reference). #15, chill.

  18. Charlie Sexton wrote:

    Greg - Brenda Robinson & New Desire, from Aragon, GA, travel in a Prevost H3-45 bus they bought a couple of years ago from The Hemphill Brothers. It was actually President George W. Bush’s 2004 campaign bus. It’s is as nice a ride as there is in SGM.

  19. Gary wrote:

    #13. I have some inside info on the fact that Prevost is the company that is in the entertainment coach business because Goldman Sachs had a sweetheart deal with a company in Mexico to buy Eagle Bus. The best ride in the business was sold for well, a song! Rest is history!

  20. Alan wrote:

    Wow, Doug…you can be a transcendent writer, but the sarcasm in this post seemed to rise to an unusual level of bitterness. I’d bet money that 98% of all Americans, regardless of their feelings toward any President or their policies, knows just how important it is to protect the one in Office at any moment. The fact that I personally believe that Mr. Obama is the worst President in my lifetime does not change the fact that I want him to be safe from the crazies out there; and to reiterate, I’d bet that most feel just like I do. I agree with John, #2: When a “leader” has taken an already-miserable debt of $10.1 trillion and raised it to nearly $15 trillion in 31 months, to spend $2.2 million to protect him on his weekly campaign runs seems like small stuff. But I really do want an armored coach. ;-)

  21. Jim wrote:

    #20 Your post makes it seem like Obama has raised the dept almost 5 trillion. The national dept was almost 12 trillion when Bush left office and is not at about 14.5 trillion. That’s an increase just over 2.5 trillion. In all fairness the debt would have risen no matter who was elected. The debt does need to be under control but where where those (Republicans) when George Bush added over 6 trillion to the national debt?

  22. Wade wrote:

    WoW I am going to agree with Alan here… I saw this on the web the day before and almost posted the link… WHY DID I NOT???

    Because Dr. DH, you know I love ya, but you and a SORE WINNER!!! The first time I was TRULY MODERATED was over comments was about the current president… but this was still a good piece of writing… I like sarcasm!!!! ;-) :-)

  23. Ghart wrote:

    Thank you #17!

  24. Alan wrote:

    #21 (Jim): Not sure where you got your stats, but what I found were roughly the figures that I quoted. Our current debt is $14.7 trillion, and this President has presided over a rise of close to $4.5 trillion. And this is before the health care debacle (in my view) is implemented. I absolutely agree with you that it’s so out of control that it’s certainly not only the President’s fault; but he’s the one who submitted a budget requiring 43 cents on every dollar being borrowed. My main point was that when these numbers are being thrown around, $2.2 million for a pair of armored coaches to protect him - and subsequent Presidents - seems like chump change. We’re in extremely serious danger as a nation. We’ve built an economic house of cards that can only blow us down if and when the first ill wind comes at us.

  25. More wrote:

    George W. spent too much. Obama spends like a madman. If my numbers are correct, he spent more in his first 6 mo.’s of office than any of the other Presidents combined in that time period.

    O will be gone less than 1 year and 3 months from now. Might as well find a good resale shop for those buses.

  26. Sandy Bradford wrote:

    Prevost is a well known name in touring
    bus circles. Prevost has been around since
    1924 and is now part of the Volvo Group.
    I think,unlike most postings on this subject,
    this is simply a security business transaction.
    Not the bogy man.
    Perhaps you should pray for your elected
    representatives instead of skewering the bus company. Prevost has been around a lot longer than most of you.

  27. Clay wrote:

    From Dept of Treasury: National Debt now is at about 14.7 trillion. Obama contributed 2.8 trillion, Bush 6.1 trillion, Clinton 1.4 trillion, George HW Bush 1.5 trillion, Reagan 1.9 trillion, Before Reagan 1 trillion. Just the facts ma’am.

    The current president had nothing to do with the purchase of the presidential bus. Secret Service started using the a bus around 1980 (Reagan). They have been leased in the past but the decision was made to purchase. Everyone knows it makes more $$$ sense to buy rather than lease.

    Now back to Southern Gospel…

  28. More wrote:

    I’ll rephrase: Bush and Obama both spent like madmen. O is on par to spend as much as GW.

    It’s time for a President (whether D or R) that STOPS this ridiculous spending. O is not that man.

  29. I should be packing wrote:

    .. right now, but that Karl “the Masses are Asses” Rove’s link  making me laugh too hard ;).

    ….a grateful congregation wants to honor their Rabbi for many years of dedicated service, so for his 60th birthday they buy him an all expenses paid weeklong trip to see NewYork. He arrives, checks into his hotel  room and finds a naked girl laying in bed, waiting for him. Rabbi grabs phone, calls his synagogue, yelling : “How dare you ,people, where is your respect? As your rabbi and a man of God  I am very angry with you!”upon hearing this, the girl gets up and starts getting dressed. Rabbi turns to her and says “Where are you going?  I am not angry with you, I am angry with them

    20,Alan, I  second your viewpoint, but  Doug is being truthful.Among very normal, acutely lovely  people , there is enough semi-crazy elderly SB fundies  SGfans of teaparty stripe  seriously wanting  Obama dead, seeing it  as the solution to country’s ills. Pudding is in my emailbox, mass-mailings of various cartoons ‘“Call the exterminator” -Obama,mousetrap, watermelon as a bait’,  ‘How to make 300 mill people happy? throw Obamas off the plane, as advice to a pilot taking family on vacation’ . I know, the same jokes been said about  Bush, lawyers and mothers- in-law since forever,  but they actually mean it- I asked , I am not shy ;)

  30. quartet-man wrote:

    #29 Such bull. You said yourself that people have made those jokes on both sides, yet you believe it this time. It must be true because you said so. Give me a break. I am sick of those of us who disagree with where Obama is taking this country to be lumped together as hateful racists who dislike him because he is black or wish him harm. Were those of you against Bush prejudiced against white, rich, middle-aged men. Did your disagreements mean that you wished him dead? For the record I haven’t seen anyone in a “I hate Obama” group (although I am sure they exist), but I have seen some in a “I Hate Sarah Palin” one. Sarah isn’t the smartest person out there and she certainly needs educated on some things and takes some stances people don’
    t like. However, she isn’t in control of this country and what is going on, and still gets this treatment. However, if the President who is in charge, but on the other side, gets this treatment it must be because we wish him ill and are racist. Give me a break!

  31. JD wrote:

    AVFL…I expect better of you than this. “Update: And right on time, Karl Rove’s attack machine political action group is blasting the president for the bus’s price tag, even though the eventual Republican nominee will make use of the same bus.” I hold you in high enough esteem that I would hope you were fed up with all of them regardless of party. I’m for digging a big hole and burying all the politicos and starting over with a fresh batch, with major term limits.

  32. Alan wrote:

    (#29) I Should Be Packing: I must say that I’ve never heard of any groups out to harm Mr. Obama, but like you said, most Presidents garner enemies, so there might be some. My take, however, is that the wisest thing this President has ever done was to choose Biden as his running mate. That single decision basically guarantees Mr. Obama’s safety. The thought of Biden in the Oval Office gives heart palpitations all over the world. He’d start WW III in his first week, maybe even his first speech! lol At least Mr. Obama reads everything he says from his biggest asset - his Teleprompter. Ole Joe needs his own!

  33. Wade wrote:

    Happened again… I agreed with Alan… Alan you are going to get a bad reputation!!! ;-))

    In #30 we got Q-Man Close to cussin’ as I have ever seen!!

    But 29… WoW.. Bless Your Heart!!

  34. Alan wrote:

    What on earth has happened, Wade?! Two times in a row? Either one of us got saved, or one of us has back slidden! lol

  35. cynical one wrote:

    Alan — You really think Obama is in control? I’m not sure anyone is in control. In fact, I’d say most of Washington D.C. is OUT of control.

  36. Alan wrote:

    #35, Cynical One - You have a point, friend. A sadly valid one at that. As always, though, there’s one point person, and it’s the President. And he controlled both the Executive and Legislative branches for two years, getting a rubber stamp on every piece of legislation that his ilk has wished for since the FDR days. That was my point, but on the broad, macro picture, your point is entirely correct. My jury’s still out on Boehner, but as for Reid, Pelosi, and McConnell, I don’t think I’ve ever seen such horrible majority leaders in my lifetime, and, sad to say, I add that I never thought I’d see anyone in the White House who was more destructive than Jimmy Carter; but, we have….None of this changes what I said earlier as the blog was being parsed; Mr. Obama - and every US President - must be protected at all times, even if it means an armored private coach.

  37. AnnD wrote:

    Seems a silly here, to me LOL. I can’t get what the insinuations are about concerning the Hemphill Brothers business and southern gospel music????

  38. ode wrote:

    32, LOL .. right, Joe Biteme is something else, isnt he ?:)

    30, i didn’t say all were racist, what, they cancelled teaching English too, alongside evolution? Few fringe element, some I personally know, and even one extremist is way too many, qm.

    Arrests of teaparty members like that of a military veteran for death threats against Obama, RNC Michael Steele condemning racism of some TP members, racist signs on rallies, cases of TP people losing jobs and political positions for racist jokes, controversial rightwing facebook page encouraging killing obama with million followers are well documented facts, google if you don’t watch the news.

    Also, while socially liberal, I am a strong fiscal conservative and a proud owner of autographed Mark Levin’s “Liberty and Tyranny” book, upon calling the live show .That why I even have tea partiers among friends !, being supportive of SOME of their causes, like budget frugality.

    Your double request for a break? Denied.You didn’t read me carefully and missed my point.

  39. ode wrote:

    I am not fluent in southernspeak. Here “bless your heart”means exactly, blessing. But everybody + the internet claims that by you there it ranges from benediction to “fuck you” (and not in a good way).So the same to you, darling, and if you meant the latter, you rascal :D , may you get it in the best way, to your liking, and in abundance. I sincerely admire you, in a very innocent, totally sisterly way, you appear to be a good man.

  40. Wade wrote:

    Ode… I did not understand that Should be Packing was you!!! It all makes sense now… Was not meant at all in a BAD way… I hope you get it like you want it too in abundance shall you SCREAM!!! I love me some Jewish Princess and I know Irishlad does too as long as you have a llittle greek in your background too!!!

  41. Ode wrote:

    :D in abundace it is, dear.Working daily with SQL server and similar Microsoft Viagras, so I’m royally screwed and screaming as we speak.

    At ease,soldier. No way.You are handsome, I do like boys with some meat on their bones, but sweetheart,you are forever 17 and ‘ll remain such until you cold in the ground. Am I Mrs Robinson? I can only offer to adopt you - want a jewish mother? A strict one. Curfew, no drugs, strip clubs, Southern Baptism, porn. Or american JPs, God forbid. I’d like my son to marry a nice gentile christian girl ;)

    My beloved Irish wants Hebrew and Greek? What am I, the Holy Scriptures or a restaurant menu, to offer both? We were inbreeding all thu the history. WIth me you get Hebrew and like it.

  42. Wade wrote:

    Gawd Ode I thought a Jewish Mum thought it was ok for her son to have a little fun as long as he worshiped his Mum & took good care of her???

    Mrs. Robinson huh???… something like that but I was thinking more of the line of Mrs. Goldstein!! lolol;-))

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