About a third of the 152 adult guests who slept at the White House or Camp David last year were fundraisers or donors to President Bush’s campaigns, but at least half of those also are family or old friends.
It’s not surprising that there’s a lot of overlap between a successful politician’s fundraisers/ donors and his old friends, so I appreciate that they tried to break that out. It looks like about 1/2 of 1/3 of the guests were donors or fundraisers who were not family or old friends. That’s probably a little less than 16%.
Most readers will remember that Bill Clinton’s presidency came under continuous assault for inviting donors to stay at the White House, specifically the Lincoln bedroom. In 1997, the White House released a list of all of the guests who had stayed in the Lincoln bedroom. (The Bush administration does not report where guests stayed.) CNN posted the list as of 2/97, which they have divided into five groups. They’ve tried to define donors and fundraisers who were not family or old friends as “friends and supporters”. They make up 13% of the list.
There are obviously several degrees of imprecision here. Most importantly, there’s no great way to discern who’s really the President’s friend and who isn’t without a subpoena of his Trapper Keeper. We’re also looking at different timespans, and comparing the Lincoln bedroom to both the White House and Camp David.
What’s less obvious is how the liberal media allowed one President’s pattern of behavior (about 13%) to become a widely-understood multi-year scandal, whereas another President’s pattern of behavior (about 11-15%) is a page 17 story, if that. But, what do I know.