Why Is There A Full-Size Airplane At The Debate?

When you have 11 Republican candidates on one stage, there's already a lot going on. Your eye will inevitably gravitate toward the fake spiderweb Halloween decoration that Donald Trump calls hair, or maybe you won't be able to stop staring at Marco Rubio's inhumanly large ears, or perhaps you'll spend the entire debate searching for some semblance of substance in Scott Walker's vacant gaze. However, Wednesday's GOP debate will give viewers something else to look at that might upstage even Rand Paul's side-eye. There will be a full-size plane at the CNN GOP debate — yes, an actual Air Force One will just be hanging out on stage behind the candidates' podiums. Nope, that's not distracting at all.

This particular Air Force One was once used by President Ronald Reagan and now is on display to the public at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, where the second GOP presidential debate is taking place on Wednesday night. The aircraft is one of several Air Force Ones on display throughout the country. So that answers the question of whether it was brought in specially for the debate (no, it was not, but how baller would that be?). But why an airplane for a debate backdrop? According to Wired, it was supposedly chosen for symbolic purposes.

However, those are just two questions answered. The excessively elaborate prop leaves me with many more unanswered questions. Questions like:

  1. How on earth did they get the plane inside the library?
  2. Is it a popular tourist attraction?
  3. What kind of aircraft is it?
  4. Has it been refurbished since it was in use?
  5. Why do Air Force One planes say "United States of America" on the side instead of "Air Force One"?
  6. Because doesn't "Air Force One" sound so much more badass?
  7. Which other presidents used this particular aircraft?
  8. If George Bush Senior used it, does that mean Jeb has ridden it?
  9. Will he brag about that during the debate?
  10. Which world leaders of the '80s have been inside of it?
  11. Were there warm cookies served?
  12. Did Reagan ever make a Mile High Club joke?
  13. Oh God, did he ever... join?
  14. What's the upholstery like inside?
  15. Will we get a glimpse of the interiors during the debate?
  16. Is it still functional?
  17. What if Rand Paul has a nervous breakdown and hijacks the other candidates using the plane?
  18. Will Donald Trump be jealous of the jet?
  19. Will he make a snarky "my jet is bigger" joke?
  20. Will he then bring in his own jet to steal the spotlight?
  21. Is the jet for sale? (If so, Trump will almost certainly try to buy it.)
  22. How many people can fit inside?
  23. Will the debate afterparty be held in it?
  24. What sexist stewardess joke will Trump make?
  25. How will Carly Fiorina shut his joke down?
  26. Can the candidates all pose next to it while wearing aviators?
  27. Please?
  28. Will the audience members be served single-serving packets of peanuts?
  29. What kind of in-flight entertainment did Reagan enjoy?
  30. Would Reagan want someone like Ted Cruz aboard his plane?
  31. Is Hillary Clinton sitting in it right now, texting?