President Bush will wish pro-life marchers well today at 12:10 p.m. via telephone from Manhattan, Kansas, where he's delivering remarks on the war on terror.
Come to think of it, this pro-life President hasn't ever attended the March for Life, which usually begins on his front lawn, the Ellipse. (This year, they're beginning on the Mall at 7th St.)
Where has Bush been during past Marches for Life? For the march just after his first inauguration, Monday, January 22, 2001, Bush sent a letter for Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) to read to the assembled. I gather from news reports that he was at the White House planning his new administration. That day, his first major policy action was to reinstitute the Mexico City policy, which bars American international aid from pro-abortion groups. Since then, he's addressed the marchers by telephone:
Monday, January 24, 2005: From Camp David.
Thursday, January 22, 2004: From Roswell, N.M., where he was speaking on the war on terror to the New Mexico Military Institute.
Wednesday, January 22, 2003: From St. Louis, Mo., where he was promoting his economic plan. In its dispatch the next day, New York Times noted the distance:
Still, the White House was trying a carefully calibrated approach on this divisive issue. While he rallied the marchers, Mr. Bush did so from St. Louis, where he was campaigning for his economic plan. At the same time, his top political adviser, Karl Rove, told reporters that the president was focusing on an agenda that fell far short of the abortion ban he -- and the movement -- support.
Tuesday, January 22, 2002: From West Virginia, where he was promoting his economic agenda.
The phone call to the March for Life isn't unique to President Bush: both his father and President Ronald Reagan only called. Usually Reagan and Bush the elder called from the Oval Office.
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