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Laura Bush, Unpolitician, Hits Stump

ELECTION 2002

November 03, 2002|From Associated Press

NASHUA, N.H. — Laura Bush, a librarian by profession, is spending a rare weekend as a campaigner, politicking for Republicans in a four-state swing from New Hampshire to South Dakota.

The venture by the first lady, who normally avoids campaigning, is a sign of how seriously her husband's administration is taking Tuesday's midterm elections.

"Everywhere I go people ask me what they can do to help the president, and there is something you can do: You can elect these great candidates here today to work with President Bush," Mrs. Bush said Saturday at a rally for Rep. John Sununu, running for New Hampshire's open Senate seat against a popular Democrat, Gov. Jeanne Shaheen.

The president, at a rally in Savannah, Ga., said he found it "pretty ironic that she's the lead campaigner for my family. After all, when I met her, she was a public school librarian. That in itself doesn't say much except the truth is, she didn't like politics, and she certainly didn't like politicians."

Mrs. Bush set out on a heavy day of get-out-the-vote appearances in New Hampshire, Iowa and Minnesota. She was staying overnight in South Dakota, then was to join the president for more campaigning there today. Bush is particularly avid about the race in South Dakota, where Rep. John R. Thune, the state's only congressman, answered Bush's personal request to run against Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson.

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