First Lady gives campaign advice

First Lady Laura Bush appeared at a noon-time fundraiser for GOP congressional candidate Jeff Lamberti today and she offered a ltitle campaign advice and a little insight into how she sees her own role on the campaign trail.

Two minutes into her remarks, she sought to call the crowd’s attention to someone who worked in the White House until a few weeks ago when the Republican Party’s state central committee nominated her to be the Iowa GOP’s candidate for Secretary of State.

"I also want to recognize Mary Ann Hanusa who’s a candidate for Secretary of State for Iowa.  She was the former director of personal correspondence for the White House and so give Mary Ann your consideration and your support and tell everybody, all your friends about her because she’s running for Secretary of State.  And where are you, Mary Ann?  There she is.  Mary Ann:  you need to learn that lesson.  If you’re running you need to stand up and wave to everybody."

Hanusa, who was sitting near an aisle toward the back of the assembled crowd, stood up and waved. 

A few moments later, Mrs. Bush spoke directly to Lamberti’s wife, Shannon.

"When your spouse is in politics, you’re involved whether you want to be or not and it makes a huge difference for the candidate or the office-holder if his family supports him and if they stay with him and stand with him and I know that all the members of Jeff’s family are doing that."

While Mrs. Bush often referred to her husband as "George" during campaign speeches in 2004, she only referred to him as "the president" and "my husband" during her speech today. 

She began her remarks by touting the first-in-the-nation status for Iowa’s Caucuses.  The Radio Iwoa story about Mrs. Bush’s speech is here.  Perhaps she’s suggesting the "very solid American values" of Iowans are different than the values of folks who live in the state of Nevada? 

Longtime GOP insider Dave Roederer, the chairman of Lamberti’s campaign, was the emcee for the event.  As he introduced the pastor who was to give the invocation, Roeder said:  "He’s been a pastor for over 50 years.  The only thing that I think could be more challenging than being a pastor for 50 years is being a reporter for 50 years." 

Roederer also told the crowd that President Bush won the third congressional district in 2004 by about one vote per precinct.  "This is going to come down to who wants it the most," Roederer said of the Lamberti/Boswell race in 2006.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.