In the final days of his second term as president, speculation abounded over whether George W. Bush would visit the state of Vermont. After having traveled to the other forty-nine states that he had led for eight years, only Vermont remained. Both of his immediate predecessors in the White House, Bill Clinton and George H. W. Bush, had made a point of journeying to all fifty states during their time as president, though Clinton waited to go to the fiftieth, Nebraska, until December of 2000 when his days in office were waning. The second President Bush did not, in the end, travel to Vermont before his term ended, where he could, in the words of his former press secretary, Ari Fleischer, “check the box to say he was in all 50 states.”1 For both Clinton and Bush, their neglect of Nebraska and Vermont, respectively, was attributed to political considerations. Both were sparsely populated states with few Electoral College votes that had given the president little support in his two bids for the White House. Why, reasoned journalistic accounts at the time, would either president go to such a place?2