The $2,000 a plate luncheon raised more than $3.5 million for Bush's political war chest now estimated at more than $80 million.
Although his office says it is the largest single day of fundraising in his campaign for reelection, even republicans acknowledge that Illinois will be tough for Bush to win in 2004.
Bush talked about tax cuts and standing up to terrorism. Political analysts say it is the economy, not the problems of postwar Iraq, that could be a stumbling block for his reelection, but Bush remains optimistic.
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