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September 18, 2002

Let's Talk Numbers

Today Plastic is pointing to a Washington Post story from a few weeks ago about "Mark Knoller, the leading collector of modern presidential arcana." Knoller's collected some interesting tidbits on Generalissimo Bush, including these:

Bush has spent a whopping total of 250 days of his presidency at Camp David (123 days), Kennebunkport (12) and his Texas ranch (115). That means Bush has spent 42 percent of his term so far at one of his three leisure destinations.

To date, the president has devoted far more time to golf (15 rounds) than to solo news conferences (six). The numbers also show that Bush, after holding three news conferences in his first four months, has had only three more in the last 15 months -- not counting the 37 Q&A sessions he has had with foreign leaders during his term.

Bush has raised $114.8 million this year at 48 GOP events, surpassing Clinton's record of $105 million in 2000 from 203 events.

What do those numbers suggest to you? According to the person who posted this on Plastic (someone who goes by "Philosawyer," and asks that we not consider this contraction of "philosopher" and "lawyer" to be pompous), Bush's numbers tell us this:

Not only is he getting a head start on his 2004 election campaign, while raising records amount of money for Republicans, he is also not shy about using tax payer money to foot a lot of the bills. Bush has a 'template' for day trips from Washington, holding a public policy or 'message' event before the fund-raiser so that he can charge taxpayers for much of these trips, relieving the political committees of some of the costs. Bush's strategists manage to turn the government-paid events largely into political ads, benefitting the candidate Bush is appearing with but also driving up the president's poll numbers in that media market, according to officials who examine the data.

There are more related links on Plastic page, if you feel like gorging on even more juicy details of how your taxes are being spent to ensure Republican control of your future. I think I've had enough for now, thanks... (I wonder if "Philosawyer" has a blog...)

Posted September 18, 2002 02:08 PM | general politics

I stumbled across your quote about the Bush traveling campaign show. Unfortunately, I dont have a blog as I think I would be too sporadic.

(I gather you find "Philosawyer" pompous - oh well at least it does reflect my over analytical and too self introspective approach). "Ambivalent Imbroglio" - now that I like.

People need to keep bringing up the real problems with Bush's extreme brand of conservatism where ever they can. For now I largely stick with plastic in addition to email.

Posted by: Philosawyer at September 27, 2002 04:10 PM

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