By Jake Rossen
By Jesse Marx
By Michelle LeBow
By Alleen Brown
By Maggie LaMaack
By CP Staff
By Jesse Marx
DRIVER OF WELLSTONE'S GREEN BUS
This is a great bus. I've been driving it since about the middle of the first campaign--I wasn't the first one, but I've been here ever since then. It works great now. It used to break down in the early days, but now I kind of work for Schmitty and Sons in Lakeville. They take care of all the maintenance for me, and it hasn't been breaking down for years.
I was going to take the bus to Duluth today and pick him up, but now he's gone.
There's all sorts of great things about this bus. I put this green phone by the driver's seat, and then that white one on the table there. I always say, "The green phone calls the senator's office and the white phone calls the White House." They don't, of course. They're not hooked up to anything. And there's all these pictures. This one back here is my grandson, Ian Robert Scott. That's from the first campaign, and he was excited to be holding the Wellstone banner. He died when he was 15, in an auto crash. He'd be about 24 now. I look up at the funeral, and there's a senator of the United States. Can you believe that?
They told me not to speak to anyone today, but I'm talking about the bus. As long as we just talk about the bus, we're okay. It's all about the bus. The bus and us. These are things I always say.
There's a picture of the senator on his first bus trip. Look how young he was. You know, whenever we'd stop at a service station, Paul would get out and do the windshield for me. All the greats have been on this bus. Someday I'll make a list. Mondale's here today, he's been on the bus. My favorite time was once, in the second campaign, we came back to the bus and there was seven dollars with a note attached under the wiper. It said, "Hey, put some gas in."
I've been driving all my life, buddy. I'm 70 now, but I used to drive for Greyhound, and I still do some Gray Line Tours. I officially retired in 1989. But I really liked this one the most, this tour with Wellstone. I was going to take the whole week off because I wanted to be with Paul. That's how I ended up here at headquarters, just to make a stop before I drove up. But I'm getting kind of sick of it all, watching these people out there, and I'd just like to go home.
They picked it up somewhere in Fridley. It was blue then. They originally had beds in here, but I tore 'em all out. Or I should say my son did. You don't do anything by yourself here. You all work on the bus. The cabinets came with the vehicle. I picked up these couches for this campaign, and my son Larry Scott put them in here, and he built that table.
But we gotta keep talking about the bus. I'm not supposed to talk to anybody, buddy. Please don't say anything derogatory about the bus.
Lean Green Political Machine, somebody called it, and it stuck. That and "The Warrior." But to me, it was always the senator who was the warrior. It's the end of an era for me, I guess. End of my career. I wish I could say something fitting for his death, but I can't. He was a little giant. Many people didn't know that, but I did. Now the little giant's gone. You can quote me on that.
That picture there is from when Bill Clinton came to the Target Center. They told me I couldn't park in front of it on the street, but I said, Screw it. Make 'em tow the green bus. When Clinton saw it, he kind of jumped up and down for the bus, so I honked for him.
See, there's all these good pictures here, and I try to hang up as many as I can. I love this one of Paul and Sheila together. I've never seen folks so close. Yesterday, he calls me. "Paul!" he shouts at me, and then, "This is Paul," like I don't know who it is. Anyway, "Paul," he says, "come and pick me up at my house." And I say, "Oh, I can't do that, I'm at the capitol." Kind of playing with him. But I did. I did go pick him up.
Jesus, these people keep comin'. Look at them out there. Don't they know I want to go home and have a good cry? I don't like to cry in front of people. I just want to get home so I can do that. (Anderson)
1990 WELLSTONE CAMPAIGN MANAGER
I remember the famous bus ride to Washington. He was on his way to getting sworn in. Lots of people wanted to be part of the bus ride going in, but nobody wanted to bring that rascal home. There were five of us who did, and it was the bus ride from hell. We left Washington in the morning--not great weather, no TV, nothing to do. And I remember getting into Ohio in early evening in heavy snow with sparks starting to pop out of the engine. We pulled into a roadside rest stop and a mechanic banged out a few things. We made it to just outside of Gary, Indiana, and the same thing happened--sparks. It was snowing harder by then and it was about one in the morning. We are starting to get uptight. And then just past Comiskey Park, the engine absolutely explodes into flames.