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Political Play of the Week

A fund raiser in politician's clothing?

President Bush and his brother, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush
President Bush and his brother, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush  

By Bill Schneider
CNN Sr. Political Analyst

When President Bush went to Florida Friday to raise money for his brother Gov. Jeb Bush's campaign, he set a new record. And he comes home with the political Play of the Week.

Forget the World Cup. The Bush team sets a new world record: $100 million raised for the Republican Party and its candidates in one election -- so far.

Democrats are in a dither.

But you know, Democrats are not shy about going after big money. Remember the Clinton fund-raising controversies?

What made Bush the new champ? The new campaign finance reform law has a lot to do with it.

The parties are scrambling to raise soft money before it becomes illegal on November 6.

Put these two facts together.

President Bush is immensely popular. But the race for control of Congress this year is a dead heat.

So, gaining a big money edge becomes crucial for Republicans. And Bush is the guy who can do it.

He does it without appearing too political.

Most Americans don't think politics plays too big a role in President Bush's decisions, partly because September 11 put him above politics.

But $100 million is a lot of politics. To do politics without seeming to do politics is pretty good politics. In fact, it's the political Play of the Week.

President Bush is seen as a far less political creature than President Clinton was. President Bush has White House political adviser Karl Rove to do politics. President Clinton WAS Karl Rove -- his own brilliant political strategist.




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