27 April 2008
President Bush's visit to Connecticut and the 5th Congressional District on Friday raised as much as $700K, according to press reports . Much of the money is supposed to benefit the presumptive opponent of first-term U.S. Rep Chris Murphy, State Senator David Cappiello.
Bush used a Hartford speech on malaria-fighting efforts to underwrite an obviously partisan journey to the Kent home of Nixon administration Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger. Invitees came at $1,000 per person and got a photo with the President for $10,000.
In a bizarre twist to the trip shared with a group of 5th CD Democrats this weekend, the White House called Cong. Murphy's office last Tuesday to invite him to accompany the President on Air Force One on his way to the Northwest Hills to shake the GOP money tree for Murphy's opponent. No word yet on whether Murphy's office staff has stopped laughing yet. New England's only GOP member of Congress, Chris Shays, took the free ride.
While Cappiello needed the kind of cash that a sitting President could bring him, many Democrats and unaffiliated voters will be asking just what part of Bush's policies does Cappiello plan to run on. There was no evidence that Cappiello engaged in any photo ops with Bush. Nary a word on the Cappiello website.
Chances are the Republican challenger will do his best to ignore George Bush completely the rest of the way. It appears his strategy is to run a stealth campaign of quietly backing the Bush agenda and painting himself a Nancy Johnson moderate. To know the real David Cappiello, however, all voters will have to do his follow the money trail back to the White House. The largess given to Cappiello is the best tip off yet of what he stands for and how he will vote: for wasteful war without security, for deficits, for the continuing economic slide of working and middle income people as the rich guys with the long driveways who live next to Henry Kissinger get a tax break.
[Photo credit: http://news.bbc.co.uk]