The nation is on a high terror alert. Washington is ringed by missile launchers. Iraq is still in chaos. And the economy is in the toilet. But our esteemed leader?
President Bush embarked last night on a packed schedule of fundraising events designed to showcase him as commander in chief even as he builds a record-breaking financial advantage over his future Democratic opponent.
Bush will headline $2,000-a-ticket receptions next month in New York, Washington, Miami and Tampa, and White House officials said they expect that pace to continue through the summer and into the fall. Vice President Cheney also will begin a heavy schedule of fundraisers at about the same time, Republican sources said.
Officials in both parties said they plan to make an issue of how the other side is raising money. Republican officials said they plan to attack the Democratic candidates as beholden to liberal interest groups and a few industries.
“The fact that there’s such heavy focus on trial lawyers, on labor and on the entertainment industry is not signs of a healthy party,” said a Republican involved in Bush’s campaign.
Chris Lehane, a senior adviser to Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), who is seeking the Democratic nomination, said Bush’s opponents will lob similar charges at him. “We’re going to point out that his policies disproportionately benefit energy companies, HMOs, tobacco companies and the wealthy executives who are his chief contributors,” Lehane said. “He’s doing more to stimulate his campaign than he is to stimulate the economy.”
GOP strategists said they expect the Democratic nominee, who could be determined by March after a bruising schedule of primaries, to be out of money just when Bush begins to advertise heavily on television.
Bastard. He’s spent less time in the office than any president I can remember. I can’t remember the last time he stayed in Washington over the weekend, and he goes to bed around 10. The rest of the time he’s off fundraising or campaigning. It’s a good thing that Karl Rove is running the show, otherwise we’d have no president at all.