First Lady to campaign for Pombo in Pleasanton

First Lady Laura Bush will rally for Rep. Richard Pombo, R-Tracy, in Pleasanton on Friday, the congressman’s campaign confirmed.

It will probably be a morning event although the time and specific location has not been finalized, campaign spokesman Brian Kennedy said.

It is a rally for Pombo supporters and not a fund-raiser, he said.

The Pombo campaign must have been eavesdropping on Sunday speeches by Democratic challenger Jerry McNerney, who said he wanted his opponent to bring the president back to the district.

“President Bush’s visit was the best thing to happen to my campaign,” McNerney told supporters at fund-raisers in Morgan Hill, Portola Valley and San Ramon on Sunday. “He helped me raise more money. It attracted the national party’s attention and it helped get my name out in the media.”

McNerney was referring to President George W. Bush, of course, who held a fund-raiser for Pombo in Stockton a few weeks ago.

It’s uncertain whether Laura Bush will galvanize anti-Bush voters to write big checks to McNerney.

Laura Bush has considerably higher approval ratings than her husband.

In February, the Gallup Poll reported that 82 percent of Americans approved of the job Laura Bush is doing as first lady, nearly 30 points higher than her husband’s rating.

Laura Bush is viewed as a GOP campaign star and has appeared in recent days on behalf of Republicans in Florida, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Lisa Vorderbrueggen