George W. Bush speaking in Fort Worth in March. (Joyce Marshall/Fort Worth Star-Telegram via Getty Images)
“It was our goal to raise $500 million by the time the George W. Bush Presidential Center was dedicated, and we reached that goal,” Mark Langdale, president of the George W. Bush Center, tells Time Magazine’s Zeke Miller.
That total means Bush has emerged as one of the most successful postpresidency fundraisers. By comparison, former President Bill Clinton had barely raised the $165 million to cover the cost of his presidential library when it opened in Little Rock in 2004—though he has gone on to raise hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years for his foundation.
The Bush library, which will be dedicated on April 25 and opened to the public on May 1, cost an estimated $250 million to build. According to officials, the money Bush has raised will go toward the construction and operating costs of the library, which is located on the campus of Southern Methodist University. The rest will go to the George W. Bush Institute, a public policy foundation.
It's unclear if the Bush library will disclose the identity of its donors. A spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment by Yahoo News.
Under the law, presidential libraries typically don't have to make the names of its financial supporters public—though some ex-presidents have offered up some information in the past.
At former President George H.W. Bush's library in College Station, Texas, some donors are listed on a wall near the front entrance, but their contributions haven't been disclosed. In 2004, the names of some of the Clinton library donors were discovered by a reporter who accessed the list on a public computer at the Little Rock facility—a list later removed. But Clinton later made his full list of supporters public when his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, was on the verge of being named as President Barack Obama's secretary of state.
- Politics & Government
- presidential library