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Flag family of Eagle Scouts to greet Bush

Flag family of Eagle Scouts to greet Bush

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When President Bush lands in Phoenix today, he'll be greeted at Sky Harbor by a rare foursome: A family with four generations of Eagle Scouts.

And two of the four are from Flagstaff.

They are the Boggess family, and they range in age from 13 to 96.

The eldest, Thomas Shelton "T.S." Boggess Jr., 96, is traveling from his home in Macon, Miss.

His son, Thomas S. "Doc" Boggess III, 66, is from Phoenix; grandson Thomas S. "Tommy" Boggess IV, 41, and great-grandson, Thomas S. "Shelton" Boggess, 13, will be coming down from Flagstaff.

White House spokesman Blair James said the Boggess family might be the only one in the entire country with four generations of Eagle Scouts still living.

Young Shelton, a student at Northland Preparatory Academy, vowed to obtain the rank before his great-grandfather passed on. He is believed to be one of the youngest Eagle Scouts in the nation.

President Bush will be in Phoenix to help raise money for John McCain's campaign. The event will be held at a private residence and closed to the general public.

However, it is possible the two men would appear together waving at television cameras in Arizona upon arrival or departure of the president's plane.

The press has nearly always been banned from Bush's fundraisers in private homes. Former President Clinton sometimes allowed the press into such fundraising settings, at least for his remarks.

Bush's low approval ratings have raised questions about whether he will help or hurt McCain, especially as the Democratic candidates have argued that a McCain administration would amount to a third Bush term. In the latest Associated Press-Ipsos poll last month, 28 percent approved of the job Bush is doing, his lowest rating ever in the survey.

Bush and McCain have not been together since March 5, when the president officially announced his endorsement of the likely GOP nominee in the White House's Rose Garden. Officials have declined to elaborate on how much they might campaign together, either to raise money or do traditional campaign rallies.

But the White House and the McCain operation have been coordinating their messages behind the scenes.

Bush has headlined numerous fundraisers for the Republican National Committee this election cycle, starting last year. That money will certainly be used in large part to boost McCain's campaign. But the events this week in Arizona and Utah on Wednesday are the first involving Bush that directly funnel cash into McCain's campaign.

During Bush's three-day trip, he is also holding official presidential events at a Mesa cable company and at the U.S. Air Force Academy commencement Wednesday. Under the complicated formula for allocating the cost of presidential travel when he is doing party events, the presence of official events on his schedule dramatically reduces the cost to McCain's campaign for Bush's campaign appearances.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.


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