George W. Bush Joins Bill Clinton and Barack Obama In Haiti Relief Effort

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Every now and then, partisanship really does fall away. It happened Saturday, when George W. Bush stood next to Bill Clinton in the Rose Garden and addressed Barack Obama. “Mr. President,” Bush said. “Thank you for giving me the chance to serve.”

As previously announced, Bush and Clinton have agreed to lead a joint fundraising effort, called the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. As Obama explained,

This is a model that works. After the terrible tsunami in Asia, President Bush turned to President Clinton and the first President Bush to lead a similar fund.  That effort raised substantial resources for the victims of that disaster — money that helped save lives, deliver aid, and rebuild communities.  And that’s exactly what the people of Haiti desperately need right now.

Bush added, “I know a lot of people want to send blankets or water — just send your cash.  One of the things that the President and I will do is to make sure your money is spent wisely.”

Already, the financial outpouring has been substantial. As of Thursday morning, the American Red Cross announced that more than $3 million had been raised in $10 increments by cell phone users texting “Haiti” to 90999. (The $10 fee is automatically charged to your cell phone bill.)

By Friday afternoon, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that the total for the same SMS campaign had been raised to $10 million, suggesting that the pace of contributions is snowballing.

Swampland’s own Jay Newton Small has arrived in Haiti. You can follow her Twitter reports live here.