Sunday, August 31st, 2008 :: Day 0: Storm Clouds

History could be made this week, but not the kind that Republicans were planning for.

With Hurricane Gustav steaming into the Gulf Coast and likely to make landfall Monday afternoon, and the threat of flooding extending from Texas to Mississippi, the party’s presidential nominee John McCain said today that the first day of the Republican Convention will be all but cancelled.

“This is a time when we have to do away with our party politics and we have to act as Americans,” he said.

Speeches that were expected from President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and First Lady Laura Bush have all been scrapped. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger had previously announced he would not be attending because the state is now over two months past its budget deadline.

Instead the party will quietly conduct its internal business beginning at 3pm, roughly the time Hurricane Gustav is expected to hit land, and will adjourn before 5:30pm.

God forbid Gustav should cause storm surges that might lead to the re-flooding of New Orleans, but if it does, Republicans will have difficult decisions on how to present themselves during their convention week.

Earlier reports suggested that the convention could be turned into a telethon for storm victims. McCain has also been highly critical of the Bush Administration’s response to Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Coast. In fact, some argue that hurricane politics has played into McCain’s hands, by removing the long shadow made by W. and Cheney.

On the other hand, McCain may win support if he is able to demonstrate a deft and sympathetic hand around this unprecedented confluence of events.

Whatever the case may be, McCain has sounded the right note as Gustav bears down on the Gulf Coast. Party politics are never more important than saving and restoring lives.

Our prayers go out to all the residents of the Gulf Coast for safety and strength.

posted by @ 4:30 pm | 0 Comments

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