The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


Republican Party

Bush Continues Quiet Fundraising

President Bush waves as he arrives the White House, May 29, 2008, in Washington. (Associated Press)

By Michael Abramowitz
BUCYRUS, Kan. -- President Bush is finishing up a week of intensive fundraising this week for Republican candidates, collecting money Thursday afternoon for GOP congressional hopeful Nick Jordan at the private home of a wealthy landscaper in this rural area south of Kansas City.

Most of the $435,000 Bush is expected to raise will go to Jordan, who is trying to unseat Democratic incumbent Dennis Moore. Moore has represented this northeast Kansas district since 1998 and is considered the favorite, but White House political aides see a potential GOP pick-up here in what is otherwise looking like a fairly bleak landscape for congressional Republicans this fall.

As has been the case all week, Bush has been fundraising in secret: Today's event is the fifth the White House has closed to the press, in keeping with its long-standing policy regarding fundraisers in private homes. Two events Bush has earlier this week for the presidential campaign of John McCain were originally supposed to be open, but were moved at the last minute to private residences, according to local press reports.

Bush spent Wednesday night in Park City after another closed fundraiser, this one at a vacation home of onetime GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney. Couples paid $70,000 for the privilege of listening to Bush: The traveling pool was kept at least a mile away, free of any risk of a chance observation of Bush and Romney, the pool report noted.

Before this week's swing, Bush had done 19 political fundraisers this year, all but two of which were closed to the press, according to Mark Knoller, the CBS Radio White House reporter who keeps the best statistics on presidential travel. The president has raised about $37 million for GOP candidates and the Republican Party. (Since taking office, Knoller reports, Bush has done 310 fundraisers, collecting a total of $767 million for his own campaigns and other GOP efforts.)

Talking with reporters on Air Force One this morning, White House press secretary Dana Perino described the private speeches Bush has been making as fairly standard fare, focused on issues like keeping taxes low and his efforts to combat terrorism. Bush likes to trot out familiar (as least to the press) stories, like how ironic it is that he, the son of a World War II veteran, has forged a close relationship with onetime Japanese prime minister Junichiro Koizumi.

"People are interested about what it's like to be president," Perino said. "Oftentimes he'll give sort of a visual tour of the Oval Office, describe that. Sometimes he talks about significant moments in his presidency."

The Deseret News reports that Bush reminisced for another fundraising audience in Salt Lake City on Wednesday about his two terms in office, joking that he doesn't have to wait in traffic jams. One guest quoted him as saying, "You definitely live in a bubble. But it's a pretty comfortable bubble."

Posted at 4:54 PM ET on May 29, 2008  | Category:  Republican Party
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Posted by: Franklin D. | May 29, 2008 11:50 PM
Posted by: | May 30, 2008 7:16 AM

Posted by: | May 30, 2008 7:51 AM

Must be nice to only look at the bad in one person, and the good in another.

Most don't agree with you, as doing so would only hurt themselves.

Some, like you, will be so upset that things did not go their way, they will do something to hurt themselves - like helping get McCain elected by not voting, or voting directly for him.

The people that think this all the way through, will understand this is politics, and we need to take the best choice for us, even if it is not our first choice.

Posted by: Sally | May 30, 2008 5:07 PM

Who would donate to this terrorist!?

Posted by: Barbara | May 30, 2008 5:03 PM

Truer words were never spoken here.I plan to copy and paste this and put it on every blog on the internet.....thanks

Whatever colors he is, Obama surrounds himself with divisive, angry people and pretends to be shocked, shocked that they're saying what they always said.

This man is dangerous, and the people he'll bring with him are more dangerous.

He's unqualified, unprepared, has too much baggage in his radical friends and will lose the unlosable election.

Hillary wasn't my first choice, but she sure is now. She's got grit, determination and a helluva lot of courage to keep going in the face of an Obama-adoring media who lost their critical faculties in the face of the rock star of Hope! and Change!

She's all that stands between us and the disaster of such a neophyte's presidency.

I -- and just about everyone I know -- plan to skip the Presidential column and just vote for local Democrats in November if Obama is the nominee.

Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi can't force this one down our throats. I'd rather suffer McCain than Obama's empty rhetoric and divisive associates.

Posted by: Franklin D. | May 29, 2008 11:50 PM
Posted by: | May 30, 2008 7:16 AM

Posted by: Anonymous | May 30, 2008 7:51 AM



Why: The DNC might decide to bend the
rules back to Hillary's favor to include
Florida and exclude Michigan.

When: Saturday, May 31

Location: Mariott Washington DC


2000 The Presidential election was so close
that the Supreme Court decided who would
be our President. We got shafted with
the choice of Bush.

2004 Another close Presidential race is
decided by one state (Ohio). Questionable
voting machine practices tipped the election
towards Bush's favor.

If we stand by, and allow the DNC to
carry on this tradition of raping our
Democracy... WE GET WHAT WE DESERVE!!!

Show up in support of DEMOCRACY - SHOW UP
IN OPPOSITION OF THE Hillary Fascists!!!

Our country is a country of laws and
founded on personal and communal

We do NOT live in Russia - Our elections
deserve to be fair and balanced. Allowing
Hillary anything out of these two elections
would prove that we are now a Theocratic Corporate Fascist State!

ps. Maybe we do live in Russia
with the secret nature of Bush
and McCain's way of Fundraising.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 29, 2008 6:57 PM

Bush, your lame duck A$$ is out in 7 months!

Down with the Republican Party! McSame will not seem like a Maverick in two months. Watch! After the New Mexico primary on June 3rd where Ron Paul gets 25% of the vote, McCain ought to be very worried. Much of that Ron Paul support can easily go to Obama.

Posted by: AJ | May 29, 2008 6:07 PM

Top secret Presidential Pardons, for instance ; )

Posted by: JakeD | May 29, 2008 5:09 PM

Lame duck Presidents can stil do a thing or two on the official side too ...

Posted by: JakeD | May 29, 2008 5:03 PM

This is all he's good for now. The top brass Republicans love what he's done for their coffers, etc., so they'll shell out the dough to snap a picture or two.

Posted by: matt | May 29, 2008 5:01 PM

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