Other than the traffic snarls caused as local roads were blocked to make way for his motorcade, President Bush's brief visit to the Triangle late Friday to raise funds for Republican gubernatorial nominee Pat McCrory was a low-profile affair.
The event, held at the home of Raleigh developer John Kane, was closed to the public and media.
Whether intentional or accidental, there were no opportunities provided for media to photograph Bush and McCrory. The state Democratic Party earlier this week launched a YouTube video linking McCrory to the president, whose approval ratings are in the 30s nationally and only slightly higher – in the 40s – in North Carolina.
But Bush is still a big draw for big money.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Charlotte Observer
McCrory faces Democratic Lt. Gov. Bev Perdue, an entrenched pillar of the state's Democratic establishment, in the November election.
Tickets for the event started at $4,000.
Air Force One touched down at 4:47 p.m. at Raleigh-Durham International Airport. The president greeted Wake County and Raleigh officials, including Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker, a Democrat, and Wake County commissioners Chairman Joe Bryan, a Republican, who gave him a Carolina Hurricanes sweater.
Bush then greeted West Johnston High School student Nicholas Marriam, 15, and recognized him for his volunteer work with children with cancer.
Marriam, who survived a diagnosis of cancer when he was 6, started a nonprofit with his cousin called the Nickelby Project.
He brings bags of donated books, toys, mp3 players and other items to children hospitalized with cancer.