Political analysts say the president's second trip to Memphis in two months shows how seriously the Republican Party is taking the senate race, but some wonder how the visit will impact the race itself.
Republican Congressional Candidate Mark White paid $2,100 to attend the fundraiser for U.S. Senate Candidate Bob Corker. President George W. Bush was the special guest. However, White says the President ignored his invitation to visit inner city Memphis during the trip. "We need to start working in areas that need our attention. We are ignoring areas and we're going to East Memphis, and we need to go to South Memphis also," he said.
Wednesday's unofficial visit at the home of Autozone Founder Pitt Hyde raised 1.1 million dollars for Corker. As of mid-July Federal Election Commission reports show Ford raised 6.4 million and Corker 5.3. Now, they're dead even. Some wonder how this visit impacts the senate race as a whole. Political Analyst Larry Moore says it comes down to money more than image. "It's also about creating momentum too because one of the things that's happened is that Republicans feel that Bush's poll numbers have gone up in the last couple of weeks," he added.
On the other hand, State Democratic Party Executive Committee Member David Upton says Harold Ford, Junior's native Memphis roots pack more punch. "So, most people in West Tennessee are going to vote for Harold Ford, Junior regardless of how many times George Bush comes," he commented.