First Lady visits Vermont

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(Host) First Lady Laura Bush made a brief visit to Vermont today.

She urged party faithful to work hard to elect Vermont’s first woman U.S. Representative.

VPR’s Steve Zind reports:

(Crowd sounds and music)

(Zind) Mrs. Bush stopped first at small private gathering with supporters who paid $5,000-a-couple to meet her. She also met privately with a group of youngsters from the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Then, shortly after noon she was introduced to a crowd of supporters at the Inn at Essex. Each had paid $200 to hear her speak.

(Announcer) “Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming Governor Douglas, General Martha Rainville and Mrs. Laura Bush.”


(Zind) The event was billed as a fundraiser for congressional candidate Martha Rainville. Mrs. Bush has been increasingly active on behalf of Republican candidates as the off-year elections approach. Polls show that her popularity remains relatively high, even as her husband’s approval ratings fall.

In her brief remarks Mrs. Bush praised Rainville’s record as Vermont’s Adjutant General. She said if elected, Rainville would be a powerful voice for the state and someone who could help President Bush meet the goals of the last two years of his presidency.

(Bush) “And Martha understands that America faces issues that are too important to be reduced to simple politics. She knows that President Bush has an ambitious agenda for the rest of his term in Washington: Ending our dependence on foreign oil, reforming our immigration system, rebuilding a better and more beautiful Gulf Coast and keeping our country safe from terrorists are all vital goals.”

(Zind) Officials with the state’s Republican Party say Mrs. Bush’s visit raised as much as $150,000. The money will be divided between the party and the Rainville campaign.

For Vermont Public Radio, I’m Steve Zind.

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