WASHINGTON – President Bush is a formidable fund-raiser, the most prolific in American history, but he's not alone. Already this year, surrogates like first lady Laura Bush (search) and Vice President Dick Cheney (search) have raised more than $4 million toward the 2004 re-election campaign.
Cheney, often described as the most powerful vice president in American history, is not a natural-born back-slapper, appearing more like the father of the bride than a master fund-raiser.
Nonetheless, the vice president has raised more than $1.7 million this year from points around the country, including at a recent event in Albuquerque, N.M., a critical swing state.
"We came within 400 votes of victory here in New Mexico," Cheney said referring to the 2000 campaign. "With your help, we're going to carry New Mexico for the Bush-Cheney ticket."
Laura Bush has raised $1.2 million and counting this year at private affairs that have coincided with her public travel schedule. She often reminds supporters of her husband's cool and steady manner during turbulent times.
Other Republican bigwigs have been on the money trail too, but Democrats say the president's earnings won't carry the day. The Democratic Party plans to give the presumptive nominee — either John Kerry (search) or John Edwards (search) — a check for $16 million in late March.
Click here to watch a report by Fox News' Major Garrett.