“I Have to Wash My Hair, Mr. President”

Illustration by: Steve Wacksman

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[See a PDF of this chart from the magazine]

There’s no bigger boon to a political campaign than a fundraising visit from the president—except when that president has an approval rating in the mid-30s. Then it takes footwork worthy of Dancing With the Stars to avoid sharing the stage with him. Not all Republicans have been as candid as Illinois gubernatorial candidate Judy Baar Topinka, who stood by
as an aide explained why they did not want President Bush to campaign with Topinka: “We just want him to raise money. Late at night. In an undisclosed location.”

CANDIDATE

EVENT

EXCUSE

REP. THELMA DRAKE
(R-Va.)

Bush-headlined $500,000 fundraiser for Drake in Virginia Beach on May 19

Had to be in Washington to vote on an appropriations bill—which passed 395-0

SENATOR MIKE DEWINE
(R-Ohio)

Bush speech to Cleveland’s
City Club on March 20

Had to accompany his dad to watch spring training in Florida

Maryland LT. GOVERNOR MICHAEL STEELE, running for Senate

Bush-headlined Maryland GOP fundraiser on May 31

Had another fundraiser, 2,400 miles away in Las Vegas

MIKE MCGAVICK, running for Senate in Washington

Bush speech at Seattle fundraiser on June 16

Attending his son’s high school graduation in Pennsylvania—the previous day

THOMAS KEAN JR., running for Senate in New Jersey

Cheney speech praising Kean at a $400,000 fundraiser in Newark on March 20

Stuck in traffic (Kean took perennially clogged Route 1 instead of the faster New Jersey Turnpike)

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

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ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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