Though some in media initially described Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's plan to travel cross-country from New York to Iowa as fresh and "spontaneous," it turns out the former first lady has done all of this before.
Shortly after announcing Sunday afternoon that she will run for president in 2016, Clinton and her team let the press know that she plans to travel Iowa so that she can supposedly connect directly with the voters across the country.
For MSNBC's Chuck Todd, the trip had the feel of something that was genuinely "spontaneous."
"So hard in this new media age to do anything that looks spontaneous to political world," he said on social media. "This Hillary road trip idea has done just that."
Politico reported that Clinton and her crew plan to make several "unplanned stops along the way" as they caravan to Iowa. Clinton's van has been nicknamed "Scooby" for the popular 1960s children's cartoon "Scooby Doo."
The trip, according to Politico, was Clinton's "own idea."
Scooby Oops: heads up @jmpalmieri @HillaryClinton spontaneously had a Scooby van for her 2000 senate race pic.twitter.com/1dVwFEaawk— Sean Spicer (@seanspicer) April 13, 2015
If Clinton originated the van idea, however, she did it 15 years ago. During her successful 2000 run for U.S. Senate in New York, Clinton and her team even called their campaign van "Scooby Doo." (In the original Hanna-Barbera cartoon, a group of teenage sleuths travel America's backroads in a van dubbed the "Mystery Machine," debunking supernatural hoaxes, often with the help of celebrity guest voices.)
"They were driving around New York in an armored brown van, 'which we had called the mystery machine, the Scooby Doo van, which was an interesting thing to drive and learn to manipulate,' the agent tells me in an interview," the Weekly Standard's Daniel Halper reported in "Clinton, Inc.: The Audacious Rebuilding of a Political Machine."
"That's because Hillary and her staff objected to the customary limo the First Lady would normally use. They complained the 'optics' weren't right for an aspiring senator who wanted to look like she was a woman of the people — and not a product of the White House," he wrote.
The Republican National Committee's Sean Spicer flagged the passage from Halpers' book Monday, noting on Twitter that Clinton's most recent van expedition isn't all that original after all.
Spicer was not the first journalist doubt the idea that Clinton simply decided to make her Iowa road trip on the spur of the moment. The Washington Post mocked the idea in an article titled "10 totally unplanned stops on Hillary Clinton's spontaneous road trip."
Following Spicer's revelation, Todd told the Washington Examiner's media desk on Twitter that he and NBC News have noted the similarities in Clinton's road trips and that they've updated their coverage accordingly.