The much looked-forward-to fund-raising dinner headed by President Bush for Judy Baar Topinka has been suspended until further notice, my Washington sources with close touch to the White House tell me.
The reason will astound you. Remember the story that an aide to Topinka told George Will that (a) the president is needed here only to raise money and because hes so unpopular for nothing else; and (b) he should hold the fund-raiser in a secure, undisclosed location? That body-blow to the president publicized by a national correspondent has been used as a powerful weapon against Bush by liberals seeking to prove that as wartime leader he is a liability. And this despite the active support of Topinka by Bob Kjellander via his ties with Karl Rove.
Now it develops that the source of those comments was not an aide, not Nancy Kimme but Topinka herself! Her campaign sought to protect her by saying that an aide was responsible for the devastating insult to the president from an establishment-anointed Republican nominee for governor. Some unnamed aide was given the blame, but its not true: no matter how many denials they make. Result: the dinner which Topinka hoped would raise big bucks has been shelved for now, despite Blagojevichs stepping up his paid media attacks. Yet, understandably, the White House feels that for a statewide Republican candidate to say this to a national correspondent is almost unforgivable. Dont be too easily convinced by a quick Topinka tut-tut denial. After all, she continues to steadfastly deny refusing to endorse U. S. Senator Peter Fitzgerald for reelection even though more than 75,000 listeners heard her wiggle out of providing support