On the Road Again
Lt. Gov. Michael Steele drew attention earlier this year for the amount of time he spent outside the state of Maryland (128 days since taking office in 2003), much of it campaigning for President Bush in 2004.
Now's he's back on the road again, but this time to raise money for his U.S. Senate bid. According to media reports compiled by the Maryland Democratic Party, Steele was in California last week to seek financial backing from The Lincoln Club of Orange County.
He spent Sunday in Nashville, where Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist held an event for one incumbent senator -- Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania -- and four GOP challengers: Tom Kean Jr. of New Jersey, Mike McGavick of Washington, Minnesota Rep. Mark Kennedy and Steele.
On Monday, he appeared with Rep. J.D. Hayworth, R-Ariz., in Scottsdale, where he gave the keynote speech at a at minority business summit.
Doug Heye, the Steele campaign's communications director, said he had nothing to say about the Democratic Party news release highlighting the ties between the donors at these events and the Bush administration.
"The Steele campaign isn't going to be in the habit of commenting everytime the Maryland Democratic Party makes another one of their attacks that comes straight from their 37-page playbook," Heye said, referring to the strategy memo that identified Steele as a threat and strongly advised Democrats to tie him to Bush.
Though none of these events was close to home, the Frist event, in particular, appeared to be outside the lieutenant governor's comfort zone. The Associated Press reported that the invitation to the Frist fundraiser struck a country western theme.
"The cowboy-themed invitation features jeans and a belt buckle, and recipients have to open the belt buckle to see what is inside," the AP report said. "The back shows the rear end of a pair of jeans with a red handkerchief hanging from one of the pockets."
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