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Tilting at Windmills

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June 6, 2006

DIFFERENT KINDS OF PRESIDENTIAL VISITS....Apparently, former President Bill Clinton is in demand this campaign season.

In what promises to be his most intensive campaign season since he left office, former President Bill Clinton is scheduled to appear at more than two dozen fund-raisers for Democrats around the country, hoping to collect at least $20 million for his party's drive to recapture Congress.

"In contrast to Republican candidates who are running away from George Bush, our candidates are clamoring for him in every part of the country," said Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

RNC spokesperson Tracey Schmitt denied Schumer's claim and insisted Bush has been campaigning for Republicans nationwide, noting that he had appeared at 37 fundraising events since the beginning of 2005. What Schmitt didn't mention is that the candidates the president helps frequently choose not to be in the same room as Bush.

Republican congressional candidates throughout the U.S. love President George W. Bush's fund-raising prowess. They just don't want to be seen in public with him.

It's getting rather embarrassing. Bush hosted an event for Senate candidate Michael Steele in Maryland, but Steele was elsewhere. The president raised money for Rep. Thelma Drake (R) in Virginia, but Drake couldn't make it. Sen. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) was notably absent from a Bush event in March in Ohio. Cheney was in New Jersey to help Senate candidate Tom Kean Jr., but Kean didn't show up until Cheney was gone. Minnesota Senate candidate Mark Kennedy skipped an appearance by Bush at a 3M Corp. plant outside Minneapolis. Bush was in Pennsylvania two weeks ago to campaign for vulnerable Republican House members in the Philadelphia suburbs, but Rep. Curt Weldon (R), the most vulnerable of them all, couldn't even make up a good excuse for dodging the president, telling reporters that Bush "is really doing poorly in our state."

How bad is it? Now, even Rick Santorum is keeping his distance.

When Bush headlined a May 24 fundraiser in Philadelphia to benefit members of Pennsylvania's Republican congressional delegation, only two of the 13 incumbents up this year -- Representatives Jim Gerlach and Michael Fitzpatrick, the event's main beneficiaries -- attended.

Among those absent was Senator Rick Santorum, who trails Democratic challenger Robert Casey by 13 percentage points in the latest Quinnipiac University poll. The poll, taken May 2-8, also showed Bush's approval rating at 30 percent in the state, compared with 73 percent four years ago.

"There was a time when on any trip by the president to Pennsylvania, you'd find Rick Santorum fairly close by," said Chris Borick, director of the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion in Allentown. "Any time the president is in the state for a big fund-raising event and Rick Santorum isn't there, it's fair to question why."

Et tu, Rick?

Steve Benen 12:06 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (32)

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Comments

Freedom is on the march. The market is up. Everyone is employed in fulfulling jobs, including the Java programmers in Bangalore. Gay marriage is going to be banned. Illegals are going to be deported. Mothers are staying home to take care of children. Embryos are not going to be aborted.

So why worry about the absence of a candidate from the Presidential fundraiser for the candidate?

Posted by: lib on June 6, 2006 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

Rick was busy.

Had to see a man about a dog.

Posted by: CN on June 6, 2006 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

Bobby Jindal may have demonstrated his precience when he very pointedly declined to have aWol come to LA to campaign for him back in 2002.

He lost that one anyway - a leap straight into the Senate for someone who'd never held any elective office (he'd worked for Mike 'Done Nothin' and Proud of it' Foster) was pretty serious overreaching anyway.

Posted by: CFShep on June 6, 2006 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

Mike McGavick, the Washington State R running for the Senate against Maria Cantwell has announced he won't be able to meet with W. when Bush is in the state. He has a conflict with his son's gradutation.

Posted by: Fafner1 on June 6, 2006 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

I guess for some people, deporting illegals, mothers staying home to care for their children, and embryos not being aborted, are bad things.

Posted by: rnc on June 6, 2006 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

Prescience is not a word I'd normally associate with Jindal, but I still like hearing that he was among the first to snub Smirky, CF.

Posted by: shortstop on June 6, 2006 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

Clinton would have helped Kerry more in 2004 if his August heart surgery didn't curtail his appearances until late in the campaign. His convention speech waa a highlight and hit all the right notes.

Posted by: HL Mungo on June 6, 2006 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

Prescience is not a word I'd normally associate with Jindal, but I still like hearing that he was among the first to snub Smirky, CF.
Posted by: shortstop

Ya just gotta know, sweets, that this one post exhausted my entire stock of 'positive things I can say about Bobby Jindal with a straight face'....

Posted by: CFShep on June 6, 2006 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

Rick and Bush are not parting ways - their trysts are just increasingly private.

"Reflections Photography" the RNC's favorite campaign photographer, appears to be working overtime taking pictures of Santorum with Bush, Cheney, Laura and Rove.

Look here, and search "Santorum":
http://www.reflectionsorders.com

Remeber, Reflections is the same outfit that deleted photos of Jack Abramoff and George Bush earlier this year:
http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/007536.php

Posted by: DC Rez on June 6, 2006 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

I came to do an OT but important: top story on Yahoo is that the US is gonna give Iran some nuke technology. Oh wow I can't wait to see the spin if true.

I stayed to bait trolls:

>I guess for some people... are bad things.

Yes sirree.

>deporting illegals,

Yes: "Illegals" are here because somebody "legal" and probably very white of skin made it know that there was money here for them if they just showed up and shut up about working conditions, et. al. Even if the work permit forms weren't freaking impossible for a college grad to fill out let alone a guy who just wants to pick grapes, remember that a work permit allows a trail for OSHA, other big gummint organizations, and labor untions. And the funders of the Rethug party surely don't want that.

>mothers staying home to care for their children

Hey, we're all for Living Wages, healthcare, etc. so that two parent incomes aren't such a necessity for the working class. What the fuck are you offering.

But "Mothers", huh? Hey Mr. Neandertal, what about fathers instead? Judging by the many current reports, especially from primary schooling, the girls have not just closed the education gap but have broken ahead and apparently are not looking back. We need the smart people out here to be globally competitive, and if the sperm-donor didn't cut the grade mustard then it seems he should be the one at home attending to dirty diapers.

> and embryos not being aborted, are bad things.

Lemme know when you go vegan, OK? Lemme know when you start adopting kids up to and beyond your means of financial support, OK? Lemme know when you are ready to tell the world that a woman should get the same penalty for aborting a clump of cells that she would if she shot a gas station clerk for money, OK?

Until then, STFU.

Posted by: doesn't matter on June 6, 2006 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

The dichotomy seems pretty clear to me, especially given the Estate Tax repeal vote this week:

The Congressmen are nearing their 'accountability moments' in a democratic system;

Bush has been (very good)^n to the very wealthy of this country -- the contributions they provide are the relative size of the tip a lottery winner gives to the convenience store owner who sold him the ticket;

Bush has governed with an attitude, and in 'perfect storm' conditions of R-control, in opposition to majority opinion on most issues important to most of us, not counting Rove's rally-the-base issue-ettes. (Cite: Hacker and Pierson's "Off Center)

Posted by: MaryCh on June 6, 2006 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

Republican congressional candidates throughout the U.S. love President George W. Bush's fund-raising prowess. They just don't want to be seen in public with him.

isn't the money what's really important?

Posted by: Brian on June 6, 2006 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

I shouted at him during a motorcade driveby last week, but ducked behind a mailbox when he turned my way. Teeheehee.

Posted by: wishIwuz2 on June 6, 2006 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

Republican congressional candidates throughout the U.S. love President George W. Bush's fund-raising prowess. They just don't want to be seen in public with him.

isn't the money what's really important?
Posted by: Brian

"Eventually, money wins in politics." Jack Abramoff

Posted by: CFShep on June 6, 2006 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

"Eventually, money wins in politics." Jack Abramoff
Posted by: CFShep

is he wrong? seems like money is exceptionally important. sen. clinton sure hopes so.

Posted by: Brian on June 6, 2006 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

where's tbrosz or american hawk? we need some troll to explain to us how w's unpopularity is due completely to a biased press, and that all these republican candidates really did need to wash their hair the night he was in town...

Posted by: mudwall jackson on June 6, 2006 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

Clinton's increasing popularity probably reflects the electorate's realization that despite his personal ick factor, his thinking is unusually good. And we need good thinkers to get us out of the pickle our current leaders have gotten us into.

Democrats nationwide might do well to note the growing public sentiment toward replacing sound bytes with sound thinking, and get moving.

Posted by: erica on June 6, 2006 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, money is important, but the fact that Republican candidates are running away in droves from Bush and only really want the money he can draw for them while Clinton is a rock star that every candidate wants to be seen with says a lot about the two presidents...shame about the 22nd Amendment...a campaign between Clinton and Bush would be glorious to behold...

Posted by: An Interested Party on June 6, 2006 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

rnc,

what makes you think the pro big business republican party has any desire to deport illegals.

Cheap labor uber alles.

Posted by: exhuming mccarthy on June 6, 2006 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

Will Clinton be appearing on behalf of Bob Casey in Pennsylvania, or will he steer clear due to Casey's anti-abortion (but otherwise progressive) philosophy? Not trying to be snarky about this, simply curious.

Posted by: Vincent on June 6, 2006 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

shame about the 22nd Amendment...a campaign between Clinton and Bush would be glorious to behold...
Posted by: An Interested Party on June 6, 2006 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

hear, haer on the 22nd ammendment. if the voters wanted 3 or 4 terms of a reagan or clinton presidency, why shouldn't have that option? stupid republican tricks, i guess.

Posted by: Brian on June 6, 2006 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

Democrats nationwide might do well to note the growing public sentiment toward replacing sound bytes with sound thinking, and get moving.

That was an intelligent and well-written post.

Posted by: sportsfan79 on June 6, 2006 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

Will Clinton be appearing on behalf of Bob Casey in Pennsylvania, or will he steer clear due to Casey's anti-abortion (but otherwise progressive) philosophy? Not trying to be snarky about this, simply curious.

Clinton isn't exactly pro-abortion. Abortions went down during his presidency (the greatest rate of decrease since R v W, in fact). So what's the conflict? Surely all pro-lifers approve of declining abortion rates.

Posted by: moderleft on June 6, 2006 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

Gee, thanks sportsfan. I really believe that Republicans have been able to hold the floor all these years by loudly insisting that personal morality (and by that I mean a specifically Republican type of personal morality) could somehow magically trump intelligence and understanding of the issues, and that good governance would result.

It was an incredibly effective smoke-and-mirrors routine--but hurricane Katrina blew away the last remnants of the trick, and here we are with a president & administration thoroughly, and rightly, discredited.

I think Americans know that it's time for the smart, practical people to run things again, and Clinton--blazingly smart, personally selfish but politically altruistic, has always fit that mold.

So if you're a Democrat right now, he's a good guy to have speak for you.

Posted by: erica on June 6, 2006 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

Will Clinton be appearing on behalf of Bob Casey in Pennsylvania, or will he steer clear due to Casey's anti-abortion (but otherwise progressive) philosophy? Not trying to be snarky about this, simply curious.

I think Clinton would campaign for/with him if asked. He's always been popular here in Pa. Of course, he's a bigger draw in the urban areas, but that would definitely help Casey.

Santorum is probably an even bigger joke than Bush at this point in Pennsylvania--and voters here aren't going to be swayed by constant thumping on "morality" issues and anti-gay rhetoric. It's just not that much of a right-wing state.
They tend to get more pissed about fiscal irresponsibility and other pocketbook issues--they just threw out some top Repubs in the state legislature because of a pay raise.

I'd say that Rick's questionable residence in the state will bother them much more than anyone's stance on abortion or gay rights. Rick has become the sort of Wahington elitist that he once ran against.

Posted by: Ringo on June 6, 2006 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and then there's the never-ending supply of batshit crazy things that Santorum says--an embarrassment of riches to the Casey campaign.

Posted by: Ringo on June 6, 2006 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

Gee, thanks sportsfan. I really believe that Republicans have been able to hold the floor all these years by loudly insisting that personal morality (and by that I mean a specifically Republican type of personal morality) could somehow magically trump intelligence and understanding of the issues, and that good governance would result.

You are quite welcome. I should tell you that I am conservative, and disagree with most of the points discussed here. I guess that makes me 'the enemy'.

But I still think your post was intelligent, and correct in essence.

Posted by: sportsfan79 on June 6, 2006 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

Funny how taxpayer dollars still fund most of Smirky's appearances, even if the candidates of the day don't bother to show up. Ain't America grand?

Posted by: Kenji on June 6, 2006 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

Nice collation.

Thanks!

Posted by: Name on June 7, 2006 at 4:27 AM | PERMALINK

"Rick has become the sort of Wahington elitist that he once ran against."

That was the plan all along. I think of the 60 or 70 Republicans who got newly elected in 1994, one has actually adhered to their term limits pledge.

Posted by: brewmn on June 7, 2006 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

Although Republican politicians are dodging the photo-op with a sinking president, thats not enough to stop them from holding their hand out.

Is there any better way to illustrate how the Republican party is nothing but a conduit of special interests obscured by a thin political veneer?

Posted by: Jon karak on June 7, 2006 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

...like lipstick on a pig.

Posted by: Jon Karak on June 7, 2006 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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