"When people are in close races, I am the first Republican who is asked to come and appear for that person. I am the most sought-after of all Republicans. In this last campaign, I was the one asked by the President to travel and campaign with him.... When you look at the rank and file of ordinary Republicans, I'm extremely popular--it's some of the party apparatchiks who still harbor bad feelings toward me. But it is a little hard for them to do that now, because of my strong support for Bush....Particularly since the 2004 campaign, there has been a great softening of dislike for me."