“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)

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The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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