CLEVELAND • The general election began in earnest this week, not with the first presidential debate or the start of early voting, but with the arrival of a squat Boeing 737 sporting a shiny new coat of white paint and an "H" on its sky-blue tail.
Mrs Hillary Clinton welcomed the press corps on her plane on Monday as she debuted her new campaign aircraft for the final two-month sprint to the presidential election against Republican rival Donald Trump.
A relaxed and smiling Mrs Clinton, who was bound for a Labour Day celebration in Cleveland, Ohio, said she was "more than ready" for the next stage of the campaign. "I am so happy to have all of you with me. I've been just waiting for this moment," she said.
The Democrat was set to attend events on Monday with working families in Cleveland and Hampton, Illinois, celebrating Labour Day, the US holiday that traditionally kicks off the fast-paced autumn campaign season leading up to the November presidential election.
"I'm ready. I'm more than ready," she said. Mrs Clinton called the holiday the "last moment before the mad dash". "If you want more happy Labour Days, you know who to vote for," she added.
The former secretary of state had been under sustained pressure to provide more access for journalists, until now resisting the typical arrangement of a substantial travelling press corps sharing the same plane with a presidential hopeful. Mr Trump to date has also avoided having the press corps travel on his plane.
Mrs Clinton's new jet is a Boeing 737-800 that seats about 100 people, according to the campaign. The white and blue plane has "Stronger Together" emblazoned in big blue letters along the fuselage. The plane also features her website, and the tail has her trademark "H with the arrow" logo.
NEW YORK TIMES, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE