President George Bush swooped into Seattle’s “Gold Coast” Friday, headlining a $1,000-a-person Republican fundraiser at an Internet millionaire’s mansion in the tiny city of Medina.
“I’m excited and honored. He has had a really wonderful week,” said state GOP chairwoman Diane Tebelius, ticking off recent news, including the death of Iraq’s top terrorist and Bush’s surprise visit to Baghdad.
Hundreds of donors, some paying $10,000 to have their photos taken with the president, were expected at the event, which was closed to journalists. The money will be split between the state GOP and freshman Congressman Dave Reichert, who’s running for re-election against Democratic political newcomer Darcy Burner.
“Although the President and I don’t agree on everything, I have great respect for the tremendous responsibility the leader of the free world must bear every day,” Reichert said in a written statement. “I welcome President Bush and I welcome his support for my re-election campaign.”
Less welcoming were the demonstrators at a downtown mall and at intersections along the motorcade route between Boeing Field and the $10 million estate of businessman Peter Neupert. Bush swept by, accompanied by two armored limousines, a long string of SUVs and communication vehicles, and scores of state and local motorcycle police.
“From this end, he got a lot of fingers,” said Carnation’s Gary Davis, with Veterans for Peace. “We didn’t have a flag to put on our fingers.”