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The Bush Visit: Dubya Does Daley

Bush ProtestSeveral hundred Chicagoans gathered outside of the Drake Hotel on Friday to protest the latest Chicago visit of George W. Bush at a $1.2 million fund-raiser for Republican gubernatorial candidate Judy Baar Topinka. The midday demonstration, initially called by local antiwar organizations to demand the immediate withdrawal of US troops from Iraq and an end to US intervention elsewhere, also brought out immigrant rights, LGBT and pro-choice groups outraged that Dubya was in Chicago being feted by the city's coporate and political elite. Banners and signs calling for Bush's impeachment were everywhere. Photos: [ 1 | 2 ]

The President kicked off his Chicago area visit Thursday evening with a gala birthday dinner hosted by Mayor Daley at the Firehouse restaurant in the S. Loop. Other guests included the chairmen of the CBOT and Merc, CEOs of the Illinois Manufacturers Association, the Black and Hispanic Chambers of Commerce and top honchos from Caterpillar and Exelon. On Friday morning, Bush held a lengthy press conference at the Museum of Science and Industry — the first in a series of "on the road" press events White House media strategists hope will counter the Administration's plummeting approval ratings, particuarly around the war in Iraq. Asked by a reporter if his opinion of the Mayor had changed in the wake of the latest City Hall corruption scandals — including Thursday's conviction of former patronage chief Robert Sorich, Bush replied that it had not, asserting that Chicago was his kind of town and Richard Daley was his kind of mayor.


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