President Bush to Visit Pennsylvania in Support of Lynn Swann


This week, President Bush is set to make a significant visit to Pennsylvania in an effort to bolster the campaign of Republican gubernatorial candidate Lynn Swann. Swann, a former NFL star, has been lagging behind the incumbent, Democratic Governor Ed Rendell, both in terms of fundraising and in the polls.

President Bush’s visit is seen as a crucial move to invigorate Swann’s campaign, which has struggled to gain the same financial support and voter enthusiasm as Governor Rendell’s. Despite his widespread recognition as a sports legend, Swann has faced challenges in translating his celebrity status into political capital.

Governor Rendell, known for his political savvy and effective fundraising, has maintained a steady lead, leveraging his accomplishments during his tenure to appeal to voters. Swann’s campaign, meanwhile, has emphasized his outsider status and commitment to reform, but has yet to see a significant surge in support.

President Bush’s endorsement and appearance in Pennsylvania aim to energize the Republican base and attract undecided voters. The president’s support is expected to bring a wave of media attention and potentially increase donations to Swann’s campaign.

As the gubernatorial race heats up, all eyes will be on Pennsylvania to see if President Bush’s intervention can help close the gap between Swann and Rendell. The outcome of this visit could play a pivotal role in determining the momentum of the Swann campaign as the election approaches.

Bush-Swann connection

But as Swann campaigned in Harrisburg on Monday, he said he wasn’t worried about Bush’s flagging popularity.

“Why would I have a concern?” Swann said as he left a downtown furniture store. “The presidents helped me raise funds, which is a very positive thing. This race is going to be about what’s right for Pennsylvania, and that’s the only thing that concerns me.”

Bush previously appointed Swann as chairman of the Presidents Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. Swann also served as co-chair of the Bush-Cheney campaigns African-American steering committee in 2004.

Rendell campaign spokesman Serta Fee said Swann could not distance himself from Bush, however.

” Lynn Swann was George Bush’s hand- picked Bush-Swann Connection

But as Swann campaigned in Harrisburg on Monday, he said he was not afraid of Bush’s fame waning.

“Why should I be afraid?” Swann said as he left a furniture store downtown. “The head of state is helping me raise money, and this is a very positive thing. This tournament will be about what’s right for Pennsylvania, and that’s one of the things I’m interested in.”

Bush first appointed Swann as head of the National Committee on Physical Fitness and Sports. Swann also served as one of the leaders of the Bush-Cheney African-American campaign committee in 2004.

Campaign speech expert Rendell Serta Fee said Swann couldn’t distance himself from Bush.

“Lynn Swann was George Bush’s choice because they agreed on almost all the rumors,” Fee said.

Rendell has a double-digit win over Swann in a recent free poll. By early June, the governor had raised nearly $20 million – less than half the budget he spent on the 2002 campaign and about four times the amount Swann put together.

Rendell’s larger campaign budget has allowed him to flood the airwaves with a slew of TV promotions, whereas Swann can’t afford to share his assumptions. choice because they agree on almost every issue,” Fee said.

Rendell has held a double-digit lead over Swann in recent independent polls. As of early June, the governor raised nearly $20 million _ less than half of what he spent in his 2002 campaign and roughly four times the amount that Swann had amassed.

Rendell’s larger cache of campaign cash has enabled him to flood the airwaves with numerous television ads, while Swann has been unable to respond.

The visit of the Head of State is very important

Political analysts say using the head of state’s budget-raising powers, regardless of his level of support, is crucial for Swann to become more competitive as the fall season approaches.

“Obviously Bush isn’t popular, but Swann doesn’t need to jeopardize that right now,” said Larry J. Sabato, chairman of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia.

Christopher Borick, professor of political science at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, said Bush’s greatest strength for Swann was his ability to accumulate large amounts of money in a short period of time.

“This is about (Swann’s) best option in terms of budget raising,” said Borick. “Especially with the political weight that the head of state carries, the desire to increase participation in a short period of time… is paramount.”

Swann’s campaign expert, Leonardo Alcivar, declined to speculate how much money Wednesday’s event would raise, saying only that the amount raised would be “a few hundred thousand dollars.”

If Swann can build up fundraising momentum in the next few weeks and months, he will be able to gain support from voters, who will pay closer attention to the election after Employees’ Day, said Thomas Baldino, a political science professor at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre.

“People will be more focused on tomorrow’s election,” said Baldino. “But if you don’t have the money to send those notes, everything will be useless.

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