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Opinion: With Obama in Europe, Bush raids Illinois for $700 GOP G’s

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The Ticket has regularly reported on President Bush’s low favorability ratings and high fundraising numbers.

Now, more proof. Today Illinois state Rep. Aaron Schock of Peoria isn’t one of those Republicans who shy away from appearing with the nation’s chief executive and top Republican.

When Air Force One landed at Greater Peoria Regional Airport today, Schock was there to escort Bush to a fundraiser on behalf of his congressional bid.

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Schock also was on the tarmac to bid the president farewell.

‘It’s an honor to have the president of the United States here,’ Schock told members of the national media pool traveling with Bush. ‘We had a great event today. It’s great that he made the time to come here today. It’s the second time in the second term. It says a lot about our community.’

The 26-year-old Schock is making a bid to succeed retiring Republican U.S. Rep. Ray LaHood in central Illinois’ 18th Congressional District -- a district that still leans Republican in a state that has shifted heavily toward the Democratic column. And the Democratic party will have an Illinoisan at the top of its national ticket on Nov. 4.

It’s crucial for the GOP’s hopes come November to at least hang on to the seats the party already controls.

Schock faces Democrat Colleen Callahan, who was appointed by party officials as the congressional nominee in March.

The president helped rake in about $700,000 from an estimated 1,400 fundraising tickets sold at $500 apiece for a luncheon, plus an unknown number of $5,000 tickets for people wanting to be photographed with him.

Our co-blogger Johanna Neuman at Countdown to Crawford has this take on Bush’s moneyraising today. And our good blogging buddy Rick Pearson over at the Swamp has the full story on what’s playing in Peoria today right here.

-- Andrew Malcolm


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