The fact that his fundraiser for her was going to be closed to the media already suggested that perhaps she didn't want to appear in public with him. But Rep. Deborah Pryce (R) wound up skipping her Bush-headlined fundraiser in Ohio altogether yesterday. As reported here yesterday afternoon, Pryce told NBC's Viqueira that she had to "stand [Bush] up" or else her Democratic opponent "will make mincemeat out of me if I don't" vote on the NSA bill. Her absence seemed to come as a surprise to the White House. Pryce spokesman Rob Nichols later told NBC's Rosiland Jordan that Pryce made the decision to stay on the Hill to vote on the NSA bill because with every Democrat voting against it (he said), Pryce felt her vote was needed to ensure its passage. Nichols also tried to suggest that Pryce isn't worried about whether her opponent might try to make hay out of her decision to stay in Washington because she was doing her job and wasn't trying to hide from anyone.
Bush's round of fundraisers this past week raised over $7 million, based on the pool reports. USA Today, also noticing how many closed-press fundraisers Bush has done lately, reports that for this cycle, he has "headlined 68 political events - all fundraisers - benefiting 37 candidates, the national GOP, several state counterparts and the campaign arms of House and Senate Republicans. Half of them overall have been closed to media coverage, with the percentage going up to nearly two-thirds in recent months."
Democrats in California are preparing opposition for when Bush rolls into town next week to campaign for Reps. Richard Pombo and John Doolittle.