Bush Library: $100 Million In 100 Days

(White House/Eric Draper)
George W. Bush may have left office with just 22 percent approval rating, but the former president certainly still has his fans: According to Time, Mr. Bush's backers have raised more than $100 million for his planned presidential library at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

That's an impressive pace: Time notes that Bill Clinton did not raise $100 million for his presidential library until the second year of his post-presidential life. Mr. Bush, like past presidents, has met with potential donors and called wealthy benefactors seeking large sums to fund the facility. But his effort has also been "organized much like a modern political campaign."

Report Michael Weisskopf and Michael Duffy:
A national finance committee has been created with 100 co-chairs placed in every state. Some of Bush's oldest and biggest financial backers form a board of directors for the George W. Bush Presidential Library Foundation, chaired by former Bush Commerce Secretary and Texas oilman Donald L. Evans. Members include Los Angeles investment banker Brad Freeman; Dallas hotel developer and former Bush ambassador to Costa Rica Mark Langdale; and Cincinnati-based businessman and Bush ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein Mercer Reynolds.

Foundation president Langdale said names of contributors will not be released because some donors prefer anonymity. He also would not disclose the exact total raised thus far. But other sources reported commitments totaling more than a third of the $300 million projected for the George W. Bush Presidential Center, which will include a museum and research institute to be built on a 25-acre parcel of SMU.
The library will be used to house the president's papers, and it is scheduled to open in 2013. It will, according to a letter sent to universities bidding to house the library, "further the domestic and international goals of the Bush administration." Learn more about it here.

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