By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers
A fundraising campaign that started slow has shifted into high gear as individual allies of former President George W. Bush pony up donations for his $400 million presidential library and museum. Associates tell Whispers that fundraising has surged ahead of schedule. They've raised some $230 million already, are on track to reach $300 million this November, and anticipate the total $400 million by December 2011. Bush plans to break ground at Southern Methodist University in Dallas next year and open his shrine in 2013. What's remarkable, say associates, is that most of the donations have been made by individuals. "Obviously, a lot of people appreciate what he did," crows one donor.