Battleground WisconsinPaul Magnusson
Hundreds of citizens of Kenosha, Wisconsin lining the street for a bus tour drive-thru by President Bush September 24, were delighted when the motorcade suddenly stopped so that the President could meet a few of the townsfolk and visit Tenuta’s Deli, where he shook hands, signed autographs, but declined a taste of the deli’s special $2.99 Italian sausage. As the President disappeared inside the deli, obscured by Secret Service agents, the crowd’s attention was diverted to another spectacle. A handful of the television technicians jumped off the accompanying press bus without their equipment and dropped to the pavement and began doing frantic push-ups. The explanation: one cameraman had vowed to do 20 push-ups each time the campaigning President utters the phrase, “soft bigotry of low expectations,” a subtle reference to Bush’s view that some supporters of affirmative action are guilty of assuming minorities can’t compete on equal footing. He had just repeated the point at a campaign event in nearby Janesville. Their mission accomplished, the television technicians, who already seemed somewhat more fit than their brethren back on the bus, climbed back into their seats as the campaign caravan continued on to Racine.