Governor Mitch Daniels embarked Wednesday on his last ride in RV-1, the recreational vehicle made famous as the symbol of his first gubernatorial campaign. Eventually, it will wind up in the RV Hall of Fame in Elkhart.
Travelling to all 92 counties over 16 months in 2003 and 2004, RV-1 was the subject of its own reality show – 26 half-hour episodes produced by the Daniels campaign and aired throughout the state. Daniels says using the RV as his headquarters to travel the state helped Hoosiers learn who he was. And he says the reason people still ask him about the vehicle eight years later is because it stood for more than his campaign.
“This is everybody’s government and that everybody or as many people as humanly possible ought to have an opportunity to talk to it through the governor, if possible,” he says.
Daniels says he hopes RV-1 will be more than a memento of his campaign.
“I hope, honestly, that there’ll be a little pressure on future candidates in this state to get out and see their employers and make the effort to put in the miles and put in the time,” he says.
Thousands of signatures from Hoosiers adorn every part of the vehicle’s exterior, souvenirs of Daniels’ many campaign stops around the state.