Tales from the Trail

Bush money train to hit the road, nary a sighting

May 23, 2008

WASHINGTON – President George W. Bush will hit the campaign trail next week to rustle up some badly needed cash for Republican candidates — including presidential hopeful John McCain — but catching a glimpse of him in action will be fleeting.

rtr1zmjx.jpgBush will crisscross the Rocky Mountains Tuesday through Thursday from New Mexico to Arizona to Utah to Kansas raising money for McCain at three events and Republican congressional candidates at two others. They are all closed to the media.

“The reason that they’re closed is that the McCain campaign has a practice of having their fundraisers as closed press,” said White House spokeswoman Dana Perino. Bush has permitted the media attend fundraisers at hotels and other similar venues but not at private residences (like the other two fundraisers on the trip).

Bush and McCain will attend one fundraiser together (in Arizona), she said,  but it remains unclear whether the two will be seen in public together.

“Stay tuned for the details … when we arrive or when we depart, I think there will be a chance,” Perino said. McCain has lagged his Democratic rivals in raising campaign cash — he pulled in $18.5 million in April while New York Sen. Hillary Clinton brought in $21 million and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama received $30.7 million.

McCain has been trying to shake accusations from Democrats that he would represent a third term of Bush, so he could choose to avoid a photo opportunity during their get-together on Tuesday.

Congressional Republicans have also been facing a fairly grim outlook, with more than two dozen members of the House of Representatives leaving, either retiring or seeking another office.  That has made it even harder to narrow or reverse the 236-199 advantage Democrats have in the House. Meanwhile, Republicans in the Senate must defend 23 seats while Democrats have 12 seats to guard. 

Click here for more Reuters 2008 campaign coverage

- Photo credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst (McCain listens to Bush at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in April.)

Comments
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The fundraiser is a flop in McCain’s home state. It was to be at the convention center in Phoenix and on Friday they canceled it and moved it to a private home. The Arizona Republican Party didn’t even mention it in their Tusk -n- Times. McCain will have problems in his home state.

Posted by Dana | Report as abusive
 

This is interestingly interesting, to say the least.

These two guys don’t get along at all the way I see it. Mr. Bush is a political liability for Mr. McCain…even though the president recently greeted the senator at the White House as if Mr. McCain was the president-elect rather than simply the presumptive republican nominee.

It’s all kind of screwy.

Mr. McCain is behind in money and in the polls according to everything I read.

Mr. McCain has dumped his right-wing religious backers, which are the backers that adore Mr. Bush…and whose ranks supposedly kept the president from becoming a lame duck, 1-term office holder in 2004.

Another thing that I find even more interestingly interesting is that the U.S. ambassador in Iraq is going around saying stuff that only makes sense in a U.S. presidential election year, to wit:

“You are not going to hear me say that al Qaeda is defeated, but they’ve never been closer to defeat than they are now,” Ryan Crocker told reporters during a visit to the Shi’ite holy cities of Najaf and Kerbala in southern Iraq. http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/i dUSCOL46197920080524

That is even more screwy than two guys campaigning together, but not appearing together.

The republican side…including Mr. Crocker (and General David Petraeus as well)…is very optimistic. Republican politicians and their political general are so optimistic in fact, that the whole scene is becoming surreal to me.

Maybe it’s just me, I don’t know.

The series of insurgencies presently underway in south central and SW Asia (e.g., Lebanon, Israel/Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan…I lose count) cannot be viewed in isolation. The whole area is either immersed in open warfare or warfare that is boiling just below the surface.

The republican-shepherded U.S. economy is about to drop off the deep end into recession, if not already, to wit:

“The United States is already in a recession and it will be longer as well as deeper than many people expect, U.S. investor Warren Buffett said in an interview published in German magazine Der Spiegel on Saturday.” http://www.reuters.com/article/ousiv/idU SL2422759120080524

About the only thing to be optimistic about is “in with the new and out with the old” in January, i.e., new president, new administration…and new congress.

I sure do hope that the Obama/Pelosi/Reid rainbow coalition is ready to face an electorate that will march on Washington if these three don’t do whatever it takes to reverse the current trend, come January (i.e., during the first 100 days).

Jack

Posted by Jack | Report as abusive
 

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