Skip to comments.W library in record book ($500M center would be priciest for a Prez)
Posted on 11/27/2006 2:23:56 AM PST by RWR8189
WASHINGTON - He may be a certified lame duck now, but President Bush and his truest believers are about to launch their final campaign - an eye-popping, half-billion-dollar drive for the Bush presidential library. Eager to begin refurbishing his tattered legacy, the President hopes to raise $500 million to build his library and a think tank at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Bush lived in Dallas until he was elected governor of Texas in 1995.
Bush sources with direct knowledge of library plans told the Daily News that SMU and Bush fund-raisers hope to get half of the half billion from what they call "megadonations" of $10 million to $20 million a pop.
Bush loyalists have already identified wealthy heiresses, Arab nations and captains of industry as potential "mega" donors and are pressing for a formal site announcement - now expected early in the new year.
"You can't ask people in Dallas for $20 million until they can be sure the library won't be in Waco," one Bush source noted.
The rest of the cash will come from donors willing to pony up $25,000 to $5 million.
"It's a stretch," said another source briefed on the plans. "It's so much bigger than anything that's been tried before. But the more you have, the more influence [on history] you can exert."
The half-billion target is double what Bush raised for his 2004 reelection and dwarfs the funding of other presidential libraries. But Bush partisans are determined to have a massive pile of endowment cash to spread the gospel of a presidency that for now gets poor marks from many scholars and a majority of Americans.
The legacy-polishing centerpiece is an institute, which several Bush insiders called the Institute for Democracy. Patterned after Stanford University's Hoover Institution, Bush's institute will hire conservative scholars and "give them money to write papers and books favorable to the President's policies," one Bush insider said.
Presidential libraries are run by the National Archives and Records Administration, but building costs must come from private donations. Bells and whistles, like an institute or an academic program like Bush's father's public service school at Texas A&M, are also extras.
The News reported in March 2005 that the library will be at SMU, where First Lady Laura Bush is an alumna and sits on the board of trustees. But a formal announcement has been delayed by a legal dispute over some of the land where the library complex will be built.
It remains to be seen whether Bush's low standing in the polls and his rejection by voters in the midterm elections will make it harder to raise funds. That was true for former President Jimmy Carter, who struggled to fund his library center after being defeated by Ronald Reagan in 1980.
But planners believe hometown and Texas pride will outweigh any drag from Bush's diminished political fortunes. "The money will be there," a senior Bush adviser said. "The President is very popular in Dallas and the library will be great for the city and SMU."
There's another major inducement for potential donors: Their names aren't required to be made public.
Building a presidential library with any Arab money is sickening. If it can't be built with American money, don't build it.
As to the deficit, anyone with an IQ above room temperature will be able to figure out that....terrorist attack plus war equals trouble and that congress controls the purse strings.
Yep, this president is going to be a hero whether those who hate him like it or not.
Where were you when Clinton's library was being built?
I agree. Unfortunately that's how it gets done. Payback time for protecting their @ss.
Good one! Blackbird.
$500 million, not billion FRiend.
I wonder how much Hillary will get these morons to spend on hers?
Is it really cold in your room?
Nope, it isn't. Have you bothered to read the constitution?
Let's not count those chickens before they hatch.
Have you? There's this thing called a veto... might want to read about it. You and W.
I remember people saying Reagan was responsible for huge deficits as well, of course that money ended up bringing down communism in the USSR. I figure that was a pretty good investment. It will be the same for Islamofacism.
Yes, you're right, it's not yet all written, but North Korea has been on the burner for well over a decade and the same with Iran. Actually, Iran has been a growing problem since Carter.
Yes, I have read it. Congress holds the purse strings and makes the laws. Since the people ELECTED congress and the senate to do that job a veto should only be used rarely especially if the congress and senate are of the same party as the elected president.
So, you think it's OK that the people elected a republcan congress and a republican senate and expect a republican president to veto them? How about the congress do it's job? The only time there should be veto threats is if the congress and senate are in the hands of the opposition party.
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