CBSN

President Bush, Hillary Clinton Avoid The F-Word

The following is a dispatch from CBS News White House Correspondent Mark Knoller:

When historians of the future examine President Bush's daily schedules as issued each day by the White House press office, they might be tempted to think he never attended a political fund-raiser.

They can scour his schedules and never find the word 'fund-raiser," although our CBS News tally shows that as President, Mr. Bush has attended over 300 of them.

Last Tuesday in Florida, he raised over $1.4 million for the GOP at two events in Jacksonville and Palm Beach – but here's how they were listed on his public schedule:

12:30 pm THE PRESIDENT attends a Republican National Committee Luncheon
Private Residence | Jacksonville, Florida
CLOSED PRESS

5:50 pm THE PRESIDENT attends a Republican National Committee Reception
Private Residence | Palm Beach, Florida
CLOSED PRESS

The listings show he attended a "luncheon" at the first stop and "reception" at the next - no mention of the word "fund-raiser."

It's the same in the 11,000 pages of schedules released last week covering Hillary Clinton's eight years as First Lady.

During her last two years, she attended scores of fund-raisers for her U.S. Senate campaign in New York – but the word "fund-raiser" is avoided as shown by these three listings on June 30, 2000:

2:40 pm- HILLARY 2000 RECEPTION
3:40 pm Private Residence
CLOSED PRESS

6:30 pm- HILLARY 2000 RECEPTION
7:30 pm Top Floor Dining Room
Crystal City DoubleTree Hotel
2030 Army Navy Drive
Arlington, VA

7:55 pm- HILLARY 2000 RECEPTION
9:00 pm Private Residence
CLOSED PRESS

The public schedules of President Bush and Hillary Clinton offer some insight into how they spend their days, but the most interesting material is omitted.

If only we had access to a president's or candidate's daily diary that would show every move, meeting, phone call and even bedtime.

To see what I'm talking about, check the on-line archives of Pres. Lyndon Johnson. At the LBJ Library website, you can view actual pages from the Daily Diary of his presidency kept by his personal secretaries.

The entries show every phone call he made or received, every meeting he had, and often provided details on what was discussed.