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Laura Bush Campaigns in Potomac

First Lady comes to Potomac fundraiser for Connie Morella.

First Lady Laura Bush paid a visit to Potomac last week on behalf of U.S. Rep. Connie Morella (R-8), in support of Morella’s toughest political campaign in her 16 years in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“She represents the very best of our values,” Laura Bush told a crowd of over 300 Morella enthusiasts. “Perhaps her greatest work has been done on behalf of the women of Maryland. No one fights harder for women than Congresswoman Morella.”

Bush referred to Morella’s efforts in education: “Last January, with Connie’s support, President Bush signed the ‘No Child Left Behind Act.’ … For years to come, children in Maryland will benefit from her work,” Bush said.

The well-heeled crowd of men and women had each shelled out either $1,000, which included a photo-op with the First Lady, or $500 to support Morella’s campaign.

The crowd cheered when Morella turned toward the First Lady and said, “You know what they say, behind every successful man …” and she trailed off to cheers and laughter.

At least two thirds of those who came to the home of Lynne and Shelly Kamins arrived in a pouring, cold rain and a traffic jam as the cars descended on the narrow Potomac road.

Valet parking was available for those arriving early for the 11:30 a.m. luncheon. However, it soon became inaccessible. Ladies in their Ferragamos and men in their Santoni Marcs, gave up, parked their own cars, wherever, and sloshed down a mile-long hill.

Pedestrians slithering through cars three abreast on a narrow road fell privy to drivers’ frustrations, with a few less-than-cordial interactions.

However, once inside the Kamin home, where everything was warm and fuzzy, guests dined on Chicken Out, enjoyed music by the Daryl Davis Orchestra and the camaraderie of fellow Connie supporters.

Marcia Rickman, spotting a pile of Morella bumper stickers under a table, pulled them out and distributed them. “They won’t do any good there,” she said.

Another unsolicited volunteer, Peggy Eacho Fechnay, was seen successfully directing traffic before she got inside. “Somebody had to do it,” she said.

Sharon Gilder, head of The Franklin School, a Montessori facility in Darnestown, carried an educational symbol she presented to Mrs. Bush. “The school has a new library and we want to dedicate it to her and name it The Laura Bush Library,” Gilder said. Bush was very receptive and explained how to reach her staff at the White House.

Kendel Ehrlich, wife of the Maryland Republican candidate for Governor, was asked about any post-election plans made. “I just want to go away for three days and sleep,” she replied.

Wearing a bright red suit with a fur collar — “It’s fake. My husband is running for Governor.” — the lawyer was very much in conversational demand as was Andrea Steele, wife of Michael Steele, who admitted, “My life has been turned upside down,” when asked how things have changed since her husband joined the Ehrlich team.

Del. Jean Cryor and her campaign manager, Marilyn Dankner, were there, as were, Cathie Titus, Elie Pisarra-Cain, Polly Bloedorn, French Caldwell, Tony Caligiuri, Morella campaign manager; Pam and Jack Abramoff, whose 9-year-old twin daughters, Sarah and Livia, led the Pledge of Allegiance; Mignon Smith, Karen Hindin, Margaret Ann Strand, Nancy Mattson, Mary Ann Estey, Jarrod Agen, and a slew of the Morella faithful, on hand for the final fling of a very long campaign season.