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Bush to Pass Up Night in Calif. in Favor of a Trip to His Ranch

June 26, 2003|From a Times Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — Which sounds more enticing?

1) A luxury suite in a swank Beverly Hills hotel;

2) A ranch house in semiarid, rural Texas.

If you're the president of the United States, the answer is easy: No. 2.

On Friday, President Bush is scheduled to leave the White House for stops in San Francisco and Los Angeles to headline fund-raisers for his reelection campaign. But he doesn't plan to spend the night in California.

Instead, shortly after speaking at a dinner in Los Angeles, he plans to climb back aboard Air Force One and fly across two time zones to his beloved ranch near Crawford, Texas, where he will stay for the weekend.

Bush, who famously carried his own pillow with him while on the campaign trail in 2000, is well-known as a homebody. He is an early-to-bed type, turning in most nights by 10 p.m.

But in this case, the desire to get to the ranch is outweighing his nocturnal routine: Aides say he is unlikely to make it home to Texas until after midnight, local time.

The two fund-raisers are part of a two-week drive by the Bush campaign to collect at least $20 million for the president's reelection committee. The effort wraps up Monday with appearances by Bush in Florida and Vice President Dick Cheney in Michigan and Ohio.

In California, Bush will speak at a midday reception at the San Francisco Airport Marriott. The Los Angeles dinner will be at the Century Plaza Hotel.

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