Making a flying statement

After sending Joplin into a frenzy of political activity revolving around the arrival of President George W. Bush, the polls closed only four days later leaving the conservative majority of Southwest Missouri in shock.

Yes, Talent did win this part of the state and, yes, there was a lot of enthusiasm during the big presidential speech. But what was it all for?

Talent didn’t even win after being pumped up by the biggest political backer in the U.S.

Bush flew into Joplin Regional Airport causing all sorts of adjustments. Planes were redirected to other airports. The grass on either side of the runway had to be mowed to make up for the extra 45 feet of wingspan hanging off the runway.

Secret Service caused commotion all over Missouri Southern’s campus for days before the arrival. And two CFI tractor-trailers were rented to block the public’s view of Air Force One as Bush landed and joined his motorcade. From there, he proceeded to drive to campus with a police escort and patrolmen lining either side of the road from Airport Drive to here.

And the funny thing is, it was all to endorse a candidate of the Republican Party.

But who paid for all of this? Us. You and me and every taxpayer in the U.S. took a nice hit on that one.

We paid for the jet fuel, the Secret Service, the police escort, the motorcade and the salary Bush received for his day of “work.”

And, in the end, the candidate the whole nation paid to endorse lost by a narrow margin in Tuesday’s election.

Hope you enjoyed our “leader’s” wise choice of investments. We’ll be paying for that one for years to come.