President Bush was picking up $1.5 million Wednesday night at a re-election fund-raiser in the nation’s capital, where he began his drive for $170 million nine months ago.
Flush with cash, the president’s role as fund-raiser in chief is waning — at least as far as his own re-election treasury is concerned. His last in-person re-election fund raiser is scheduled for Monday in Charlotte, N.C., a Republican official said.
Some 1,100 people were expected Wednesday, and first lady Laura Bush was also attending.
Wednesday night’s appearance was a bookend of sorts to the “opening night” fund-raiser Bush held June 17, 2003, in Washington. At that event, which brought in $3.5 million, Bush thanked donors “for your generous contributions.”
A labor group planned to stage a protest outside the fund-raiser, part of what it called a “Show Us The Jobs Tour.” AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Richard Trumka and hundreds of supporters said they wanted to remind Americans that more than 2 million jobs have been lost on Bush’s watch.
Making up for snowed-out event
The Charlotte fund-raising lunch Monday was a makeup date for a fund-raiser postponed Feb. 26 due to snow.
Though Bush’s personal appearances at fund-raisers are winding down, Bush’s campaign will continue to solicit and accept donations via direct mail and the Internet.
And he will remain active on the fund-raising circuit, for other candidates and for his party. On Thursday night, Bush is the star attraction at a Washington fund-raiser expected to bring in $5 million for the National Republican Congressional Committee.
On Friday, he was traveling to Greensboro, Ga., for a pair of private appearances to thank those who have rounded up the most donations for his campaign. The news media will be barred from those events, unlike most of Bush’s fund-raisers.