Bush in Action

Photos Copyright 1999, 2000 Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action.  All rights reserved.

A Visit to Washington, DC
April 26, 2000

The presumptive Republican nominee spent a busy day in Washington, highlighting education themes at the third Republican Women Leaders Forum, meeting with retiring Democratic Sen. Bob Kerrey, meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, and wrapping up with a speech at the Republican National Committee's Gala 2000 fundraiser at the D.C. Armory, which raised a world record $21.3 million.

Exploratory Committee Fundraising Reception
Washington Hilton Hotel, Washington, DC  June 22, 1999
More than 2,000 people gathered for this fundraising reception at the Washington Hilton.  This was the tenth exploratory committee fundraiser Gov. Bush attended (the first was on June 1 in San Antonio).  The event brought in more than $2 million; anyone in the DC area who had given $1,000 since March was invited.

"I know you wrote 'exploratory' on the check.  I'm through exploring.  I'm running and I intend to win," Bush said. Bush drew enthusiastic applause when he vowed he would "not be a president who uses my office as a mirror of public opinion."  "The most important job in Washington should be the president, not the president's pollster," he said.  Bush declared he would rally "armies of compassion."  A number of people in the audience sported "I'm a Compassionate Conservative and Proud of It" buttons. 

First Campaign Trip to New Hampshire
June 14-15, 1999

On the trail at last, Gov. Bush showed himself to be a confident, comfortable campaigner.

Support of 115 of 222 Republican House Members
Washington, DC  May 26, 1999
Gov. Bush remained in Austin wrapping up the legislative session. Yet, before had even ventured out on the campaign trail, in May of the year before the election, he gained the support of 115 of 222 Republican members of the House of Representatives. In the Capitol Hill news conference announcing the endorsements, Rep. Roy Blunt (MO), a member of the national exploratory committee and Bush's liaison to the House, emphasized that support for Bush comes from across the spectrum, representing "every point of view in our conference."  Five persons on Bush's ten-person exploratory committee are members of the House: Reps. Blunt, Henry Bonilla (TX), Jennifer Dunn (WA), Anne Northup (KY) and J.C. Watts (OK).

NHRSC's First-in-the-Nation Primary Dinner
Manchester, NH  May 2, 1999
Gov. Bush missed the NHRSC's First-in-the-Nation Primary Dinner, remaining in Austin for the legislative session.  He did have a presence at the event, however, as his New Hampshire supporters created a movie theatre themed table in the tent area, complete with popcorn, tickets and a Christmas light marquee. 

National Governors' Association Meeting
Washington, DC  February 20-23, 1999
Gov. Bush was the subject of much speculation at the NGA meeting.  Bush said he was "getting closer to making a decision."  "I can say yes, no or maybe, and maybe is what's called an exploratory committee," Bush said.  Montana Gov. Marc Racicot (talking to Bush in the photo at left) said he had "great confidence in his [Bush's] abilities."  Racicot described Bush as "a thoughtful governor" who "reaches out" and "cares deeply." Racicot organized an announcement of support from a dozen governors that was released on the 26th of February.

Bush's brother, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (second from right in the photo above) should help George W. do well in that state.  Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating (immediately above) was one of the first to come out for Bush.  Michigan Gov. John Engler (above right, with the paper) told reporters, "I'm very much encouraging George to get in the race."  Engler said that it is important to "have the [GOP] governors very involved in the campaign."  "George W. understands that." he said.  Not in Bush's corner is Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura (at right); he is seeking to encourage a viable Reform Party candidate.