Memphis prepares for Presidential visit

The East Memphis home of Autozone Founder Pitt Hyde is the setting for a luncheon fundraiser for Republican U.S. Senate Candidate Bob Corker Wednesday with special guest President George W. Bush.  It will be Bush's third visit in two years.

With 400 guests at $2,100 a plate, Corker stands to raise $840,000 for his campaign.  Shelby County Republican Party Chairman Bill Giannini says it made sense for Corker to hold a fundraiser in his opponent's back yard.  "While his staff probably had some debate as to where they would take this visit, we're very thankful and I think it was wise that they decided to come here to Shelby County," he said.

Giannini has a ticket for the event and says this presidential visit should be more quiet than others.  "Because this is a private fundraiser, it's probably not as substantial as far as the number of people that it takes to do that and it is in one residence," he said.

As Hyde helps Corker raise campaign funds, Federal Election Commission records show Hyde also contributed two-thousand dollars to Harold Ford, Junior's campaign this election cycle.  Giannini says the event is, in part, about the office of the presidency.  "It's people that want to get a chance to meet the president and to support Bob Corker," he added.

Giannini says the price tag is indicative of the cost of a senate campaign.  "Granted, 2100 dollars puts a lot of folks out of the running, but I think there are some people who would say with the president, I can justify this expense," he commented.   Giannini anticipates both candidates will spend more than ten million dollars in the end.