After Election Day, the work of tearing down a presidential campaign begins. Field offices are dismantled. Bunting and balloons are junked. And a small company in Michigan gets back its airplane.
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The first step in turning it around, says Active Aero spokeswoman Bernadette Quist, is a thorough cleaning. “Decontamination” may be more appropriate. Campaign planes are notoriously filthy places, where poor hygiene, recycled air, and threadbare immune systems combine to create flying tubes of contagion. When USA Jet leases an airplane to, say, the University of Michigan varsity hockey team, Quist says, it usually comes back none the worse for wear. “That just gets your basic pickup and cleaning,” she says. “This is going to need a little more intense care, shall we say.”
Once the plane is no longer a disease vector, it’s time to de-brand it. The Romney paint job—a blue belly and white top, with “BELIEVE IN AMERICA” stenciled on each side—will be stripped and painted over, likely with a mostly white coat and the USA Jet logo.