George W. Bush Presidential Library Foundation Mark Langdale won't tell Time how much the ex-president's raised for his SMU library -- or who's given to the cause of reshaping his legacy. But the magazine this morning notes that sources close to Bush are reporting he's done pocketed $100 million since he left office -- "a pace much faster than that of his recent predecessors," including them Bill Clinton, whose fundraising was hamstrung by Pardongate. Write Michaels Weisskopf and Duffy, Bush is now one-third of the way toward his goal of $300 million.
The historically fast pace of Bush's fundraising has been all the more remarkable for taking place during a period of economic contraction. "He's struck a very positive nerve among a lot of financial sources across the country," said J. French Hill, a Little Rock banker and major Bush campaign bundler who leads the fundraising effort in Arkansas.