Washington, DC (Rotters) – Perhaps in an effort to reverse the ill effect that he is having on Republican candidates nationwide, President Bush yesterday made appearances on behalf of Representative Don Sherwood of Pennsylvania and Senator George Allen of Virginia. Appearing during the president’s proclaimed “National Character Counts Week”, analysts speculated that Bush may be hoping the two Republicans character might become associated with him and further defuse a national crisis for the GOP’s midterm election hopes.
With the president’s disapproval ratings in most polls hovering in the mid-30s, and the majority of Americans expressing extreme dissatisfaction over his handling of the occupation of Iraq, the White House seemed to be trying to refocus the public on what they consider the president’s strong points; personal integrity and his ability to judge character.
Bush made an appearance with Sherwood in Pennsylvania, accompanied by his wife Carol and daughter Maria. Sherwood, notably, had been recently accused of attempting to strangle a younger mistress that he had been seeing in a five-year affair, a charge that he has adamantly denied. “She slipped, and I tried to catch her,” Sherwood has stated, claiming that his wife has forgiven him and praised him for his gallantry.
On instructions from the president pool photographers documented “a little family-style, eating ice cream.” Sherwood’s wife, Carol was noted to be touching the side of her softserve cone to her cheek. When asked about this by reporters, she stated, “Oh, it’s nothing. I just bumped my cheek, a little bit… when we were getting off of Air Force One.”
Bush later made an appearance at a fund raiser in Richmond Virginia with Senator George Allen. On a flag adorned stage, the president praised Allen for his character and “his steadfast nature through adversity.”
Bush cited the example set by Susan Allen in a mass mailing letter sent out last week to district voters in defense of her husband. Responding to a number of issues that have surfaced in the Allen campaign, Ms. Allen stated: “I am certainly not condoning the tons of mistakes George has made, but I’m not going to dwell on them either… we do not believe in flogging dead monkeys or severed deer heads or extolling the glories of the past. It’s time that everybody forgot all about this, and that is exactly what I’m hoping they’ll do.”
“I read Susan Allen’s letter,” stated Bush at the reception, “I was deeply moved by her words. Susan’s letter shows what a patient and principled man her husband is.”
The president then made a gift of a live Macaque, apparently spirited from the National Zoo, to Senator and Mrs. Allen. Bush joked: “Coming from a man who’s compared to a monkey all the time… well… sometimes a macaca is just a monkey.”
When asked whether the White House would be successful in transferring some of the moral character exemplified by Allen and Sherwood to the shoulders of Bush, White House press secretary Tony Snow said: “I’m just not going to comment on it.”