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The Campaigners-in-Chief

One of the more striking things about this election cycle is just how few Democratic seats are in play.  The party stands a decent chance of keeping every one of their House seats.  That said, Bush travels to Georgia today and tomorrow to help his party try to topple two vulnerable Democrats.  Today he's in Statesboro, GA for a rally with former Rep. Max Burns (R), who's challenging incumbent John Barrow (D).  After that, Bush heads to former Rep. Tom DeLay's hometown of Sugar Land, TX to attend a rally for write-in candidate Shelley Sekula Gibbs (R), who's waging an uphill battle for DeLay's seat.  On Tuesday, Bush returns to Georgia for a rally for former Rep. Mac Collins (R), who's taking on Rep. Jim Marshall (D).  Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue and Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson will attend.

One senior member of the political press corps e-mailed First Read that Bush's shrinking travel schedule reminded him of the closing days of the 1992 presidential campaign.  "I was with Bush the elder and we kept going back to the same handful of places over and over... because they were the only places he could still get a crowd." 

The Des Moines Register says Bush will campaign for Iowa gubernatorial nominee Jim Nussle on Friday.  The President's visit to the state's "most concentrated Republican region shows that the party nationally sees the close race for governor as within reach, but that its best chance to win will be in turning out the base." 

Laura Bush appears at rallies today in Pittsburgh and Manchester, NH.  A Democratic strategist focusing on Pennsylvania e-mails First Read to say that GOP Sen, Rick Santorum is "cratering" in western Pennsylvania, giving the GOP real cause to worry about the political health of local Rep. Melissa Hart (R).

The Sunday Los Angeles Times observed that Karl Rove is "giving a virtuoso performance designed to prevent the Democrats from taking control… or, if that is no longer possible, to hold down the size of the Democratic victory to make it easier for the GOP to come back in 2008.  His plan is three-pronged: to reenergize any conservatives who may be flagging; to make sure the GOP's carefully constructed campaign apparatus is functioning at peak efficiency; and to put the resources of the federal government to use for political gain." 

The Washington Post profiles Rove today, saying he is "just eight days from having his genius designation revoked -- or upgraded to platinum status...  Is Rove just acting cocky as a way of lifting GOP morale, or does he really believe it?  And, if the latter, is he deluding himself, or does he once again know something that Democrats do not?"  The story notes that the Administration's future course in Iraq could be hanging in the balance on whether or not Rove turns out to be right.  He "has headlined more than 100 fundraisers this campaign cycle, raising close to $13 million." 

White House spokesman Tony Snow headlines a fundraiser for Missouri Sen. Jim Talent (R) in St. Louis tonight.  USA Today looks at the e-mails being fired off by the White House communications office's rapid response unit.