CBSN

Weather Grounds "Hill-a-Copter" for Last Time

(CBS)
From CBS News' Fernando Suarez:

MUSCATINE, IOWA -- When the Clinton campaign unveiled that they had plans of transporting the Senator across Iowa on a helicopter, it wasn't long before the jokes began whirling in.

Many thought that the image of Clinton descending from the sky in rural parts of Iowa was perhaps a bit Donald Trump-ish. Some in the press joked that it reminded them of the scene from the popular movie "Apocalypse Now," which was set during the Vietnam War. At one point in the movie, dozens of helicopters appeared from the horizon and began dropping napalm on panic-stricken villagers.

All jokes aside, the campaign's move to have Clinton chopper around Iowa seemed like a good idea, and was received well by both Iowans and the press. It served as a good way to make her look presidential as she boarded her chopper, turning around to waive to the press, just like the President does when boarding Marine One.

But the biggest problem with getting Air Clinton off the ground has been the weather. Freezing fog kept visibility to a minimal. It seems pretty obvious that having the former First Lady zip around the windy skies and icy pastures of Iowa in December is not the best idea, especially since Secret Service makes the final call as to whether or not it's safe for her to fly.

Clinton told reporters how disappointed she was that her whirlybird was grounded. "Yeah, I was so disappointed by my 'Hill-a-Copter' that I didn't get to fly. Oh, well. We're on the road again," said Clinton, with a tinge of sadness.

So what was billed as a helicopter tour turned into more of a "Hill-on-Wheels" tour, as one reporter joked. In five days, Clinton's "Hill-a-Copter" took only 5 flights of the 12 or so scheduled by the campaign.

Whether or not the expense of the helicopter was money well spent by the campaign, remains to be seen. One thing's for sure, this reporter got his money's worth.