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June 19, 2008

Bush Plans Monday Visit to Vermont

* updated at 9 PM with more details on purpose of visit *

First Lady Laura Bush that is.

"Fair Game" has learned that First Lady Laura Bush will be in Woodstock on Monday at the behest of a friend who is associated with the  Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Park. She will have a tour of the park (maybe she can check out The Pogue), and will give a speech on preservation. It is not a political visit, as we had initially surmised. In fact, no fundraiser is planned while she is in-state, according to Jason Gibbs, Gov. Douglas' official spokesman.

The governor received word of Bush's visit last night and was invited to attend. It's not yet clear if Douglas can attend, said Gibbs, as it conflicts with several previously scheduled commitments.

"I know the governor would welcome the opportunity to talk to her about the priorities of the people of Vermont and highlight the Marsh-Billings Park and how it best displays Vermont's working landscape," said Gibbs.

Spokesmen for Vermont's DC delegation didn't know much about the visit as of late Thursday, but Gibbs suspects that the National Park Service will issue invitations. Sen. Bernie Sanders is already hosting the Secretary of Veterans Affairs that day in South Burlington and White River Junction.

This is not First Lady Laura Bush's first visit to Vermont. She came to Vermont in 2006 to raise money for Republican Martha Rainville during the spirited campaign for Vermont's lone House seat. Rainville eventually lost the race to Democrat Peter Welch. Bush's mother-in-law, Barbara Bush, also came to Vermont to raise money for the party and Rainville.

No word on whether Pres. George W. Bush, will set foot in enemy territory or keep sending surrogates in his place. You can rest assured there is a reason why Vermont is the only state Bush has not visited during his presidency. Two towns have ordered him arrested if he steps foot on their soil — Brattleboro and Marlboro — and his approval rating is usually about 10 points lower than the national average. The last poll I saw put that current national average at 29 percent. Yikes.

According to spokesman Michael Briggs, Sanders' invitation for Pres. George W. Bush to come to Vermont still stands.

It was Pres. Bush's father, Pres. George H.W. Bush, whose stroke of the pen created the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller Park. That was in 1992, and it was Vermont's first national park.

Can we protest?

Does anyone know if/when George H. W. Bush came to Vermont?

Yes, George H.W. Bush did come to Vermont — three times if my research is right. Once as a vice president in 1984 where he was heckled by antinuke protesters. As president he came twice, I believe, but I'm not as sure of the dates. He didn't campaign here in 1992 (Clinton did), so it would have been between 1988/89 and 1991.

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