From Knight Ridder:
With President Bush’s popularity tanking to all-time lows, and Vice President Dick Cheney’s approval ratings even lower, Laura Bush is filling a vacuum and becoming a strong political money machine, raising cash for GOP candidates and venturing into districts where her husband might be political poison.
The first lady is riding a wave of popularity. Americans gave her an 82 percent approval rating in a January CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll, among the highest ratings Gallup’s ever recorded for any first lady. She fared well across party lines, with 97 percent of Republicans, 81 percent of independents and 69 percent of Democrats approving of her.
That isn’t lost on the president, who may have been only half-joking at a Las Vegas fundraiser Monday for Rep. Jon Porter, R-Nev., when he said that “the truth of the matter is Porter said, `Why don’t we invite Laura and leave you at home, George W.?'”