Laura Bush came to speak at a fundraiser for Joy “Terry Anderson is soft on Terror” Padgett last night. Unlike many Republicans, Padgett seems to be willing to tie herself very closely to the unpopular Bush Administration. Frankly, I think it’s because she’s showing her authoritarian roots.

In an interview after the event, Padgett signaled unwavering support for the president?s national-security positions and tax cuts but said she differs with him on immigration and free trade.

Padgett said she would take a hard line against illegal immigration, including the deportation of illegal immigrants. President Bush has proposed a path for some undocumented workers to obtain citizenship in the United States.

Padgett also said she would seek tougher trade protections for U.S. industries facing overseas competition. The president has been a staunch advocate of free trade.

Really, all of this is overshadowed by the hilarity of the following section:

On both counts, Padgett?s positions mirror those of Ney, who was popular in the district until an influence-peddling scandal ate away at his support.

Padgett did not mention Ney yesterday. She told supporters that she was encouraged to run for the seat by Reps. John Boehner, R-West Chester, and Thomas M. Reynolds, R-N.Y., but did not mention that Ney also asked her to run.

When asked, she claimed that “everybody already knows” Ney asked her to run. Funny, then, that she would bother to mention that Boehner and Reynolds encouraged her to enter the race, but specifically omit Ney.

Voters in OH-18 can do better than electing the female version of Bob Ney to office. Zack Space is an intelligent guy who holds moderate positions and, perhaps most importantly, isn’t a continuation of Bob Ney’s legacy.