The New York Daily News reports, “President Bush and his truest believers are about to launch their final campaign — an eye-popping, half-billion-dollar drive for the Bush presidential library.”
Bush is attempting to raise $500 million to build his library and a think tank at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Bush fund-raisers hope to get approximately $250 million from what they call “megadonations” of $10 million to $20 million each. Among the candidates for “megadonations,” whose names will remain anonymous:
Bush loyalists have already identified wealthy heiresses, Arab nations and captains of industry as potential “mega” donors and are pressing for a formal site announcement – now expected early in the new year.
Bush allies feel they need enormous funds to shape how history views Bush’s legacy. A Bush insider said, “The more [money] you have, the more influence [on history] you can exert.” Much of the money will be used to build a “legacy-polishing” institute:
The legacy-polishing centerpiece is an institute, which several Bush insiders called the Institute for Democracy. Patterned after Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, Bush’s institute will hire conservative scholars and “give them money to write papers and books favorable to the President’s policies,” one Bush insider said.
Bush had earlier indicated his desire to create a think tank “to talk about freedom and liberty and the DeTocqueville model of what [French political philosopher Alexis] DeTocqueville saw in America.”