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The campaigner-in-chief


The Washington Post says Bush and other party officials will spend this final stretch focusing on turning out conservatives by unnerving them with the prospect of national tax and security policy under a Democratic majority.  Some Republicans fret that the effort won't be enough to turn the tide.  "The mood among most GOP strategists -- with the exception of Rove and a few others -- is decidedly downbeat."  One tells the Post that "roughly a dozen" House seats are already gone. 

Bush not only appeared with Rep. Don Sherwood in his Pennsylvania district yesterday, but the Sherwoods -- congressman, wife and daughter -- were brought on board Air Force One via the back steps so that the family could make the big descent down the front steps with Bush, the pool reporter noted.  This was done, beyond the obvious reason, because the Sherwood campaign had a camera crew president shooting footage for a campaign ad.  A recent Sherwood spot features him apologizing to viewers for having an affair. 

The Washington Post's Milbank, like First Read yesterday, seems to wonder if the philandering Sherwood and controversy-plagued Allen are among the few Republican candidates eager to appear publicly with the President. 

The New York Times calls yesterday's twin fundraisers Bush's "Double Trouble Tour." 

The Chicago Tribune is the latest to write about how Bush's image is dotting the political landscape -- and not in a positive way.  "Bush's face has appeared in ads from coast to coast.  But it is Democrats who have dragged Bush into the campaign in a bid to portray Republicans as 'rubber stamps' for the White House and a vote for the GOP as a vote for the Bush agenda.  Many Republicans, meanwhile, have sought to distance themselves from the president."