by Max Brantley
You thought $200 million was a lot for the Clinton Library in Little Rock?
How about a half-a-BILLION bucks for the Bush library in Dallas. That's the tab the NY Daily News is putting on a soon-to-be-announced fund drive. Oh, but wait. It's a library AND "think tank." Boy could stand to do some thinking.
The half-billion target is double what Bush raised for his 2004 reelection and dwarfs the funding of other presidential libraries. But Bush partisans are determined to have a massive pile of endowment cash to spread the gospel of a presidency that for now gets poor marks from many scholars and a majority of Americans.
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.
UPDATE: The newspaper in Waco, also in the running for the Bush library, raises question about this report. Skip Rutherford is quoted as saying $500 million is not an unimaginable goal for a Bush library.