C-SPAN Bus comes to Drake

Posted: January 28, 2020 | By: Max McPartland Tagged: Blog

DES MOINES, Iowa – On January 23, the infamous C-SPAN bus pulled into the Olmsted parking lot at Drake University. I was not aware that this bus toured around the country. At first, I thought that it was here just to bring reporters and equipment to be at the upcoming town halls, but that was not the case. I was standing outside with a couple of other Drake students waiting for my classmates to get there so that we could take a picture outside of it. After a few minutes, my politics professor came up to us and he said that we should get a tour. I was surprised, I didn’t think this was the kind of bus you would tour.

My professor walked up to the door and the driver swung the door open and invited us in. We walked up the stairs and low and behold my whole class was already hanging out on the bus. The bus was unlike anything I expected. It was a kind of mobile presidential election museum with numerous tablets programmed with quizzes and election results dating back to 1960. In the middle of the bus was a make-shift mobile studio where they could conduct interviews anywhere they wanted.

C-SPAN was interviewing people from around the country on that bus. A couple of students from my class were interviewed and talked about was important to them. There were a couple of C-SPAN employees on the bus, I am not really sure what their job was, but they were talking with us and conducting interviews. They eventually started handing out pocket constitutions and notepads along with pens. After a while, we got tired of the hot and overly crowded bus and got off to take a class picture.

Although the C-SPAN bus coming to Drake was a cool experience and another reminder that Des Moines is the center of the political universe for just a few more weeks, I am not sure what its purpose is. I don’t know if it is meant to educate people who come onto the bus or to conduct interviews or if it is bringing certain people around the country to report on things. Either way, it’s an interesting experience and even though the people in my January term class were the only students there at the time, I hope that other Drake students got out to tour the bus.