President Bush on the Campaign Trail
To an unprecendented degree for a mid-term election campaign, President George W. Bush stumped for Republican candidates in close races around the country, particularly in the closing two weeks before November 5, 2002.  Some naysayers argued that Bush ought not be campaigning in what was nominally a time of war.  Ubiquitous pundit Norman Ornstein even made the argument that defeat "might be the best thing that could happen" to Bush."Control of both houses of Congress does mean control of the agenda but what good is that if you cannot muster enough votes to pass bills and enact laws?" he asked.  On Election Day, the White House's effort paid off "big time" as Republicans made broad and historic gains, taking back control of the Senate, picking up a few seats in the House, faring better than anticipated in governors' races, and making gains in state legislatures.

Bush's Closing Push: 17 Stops in 5 Days
Oct. 31
Northern State University--Aberdeen, SD    (Rep. John Thune / U.S. Senate)
South Bend Regional Airport--South Bend, IN    (Chris Chocola / U.S. House)
Charleston Civic Center--Charleston, WV    (Rep. Shelley Moore Capito / U.S. House)

Nov. 1
Harrisburg International Airport--Harrisburg, PA     (Rep. George W. Gekas / U.S. House)
Pease International Tradeport--Portsmouth, NH     (Rep. John Sununu / U.S. Senate)
Kentucky International Convention Center --Louisville, KY    (Rep. Anne Northup / U.S. House)

Nov. 2
Tri-Cities Regional Airport--Blountville, TN     (Rep. Van Hilleary / Governor)
Cobb Galleria Centre--Marietta, GA     (Rep. Saxby Chambliss / U.S. Senate)
hanger near Savannah International Airport--Savannah, GA    (Max Burns / U.S. House)
University of South Florida's Sun Dome--Tampa, FL     (Gov. Jeb Bush / Governor)
overnight in Florida

Nov. 3
State Police Armory--Springfield, IL     (Rep. John Shimkus / U.S. House)
Xcel Energy Center--St. Paul, MN     (Norm Coleman / U.S. Senate)
Sioux Falls Arena--Sioux Falls, SD     (Rep. John Thune / U.S. Senate)
overnight in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Nov. 4
U.S. Cellular Center--Cedar Rapids, IA
St. Charles Family Arena--St. Charles, MO     (Jim Talent / U.S. Senate)
Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport--Highfill, AR     (Sen. Tim Hutchinson / U.S. Senate)
Southern Methodist University--Dallas, TX     (John Cornyn / U.S. Senate)
overnight at the ranch in Crawford, Texas

Nov. 5
Votes at the firehouse in Crawford, TX

1.  Mary McGrory.  "Pit-Stop Presidency." Washington Post, October 27, 2002.
2.  Norman Ornstein. "The best outcome for Bush is defeat." Financial Times, November 1, 2002.