Is due to begin on Monday.
Or is it?
McCain: I may postpone convention
By MIKE ALLEN | 8/30/08 3:52 PM EST
John McCain said the Republican National Convention may be postponed as federal officials said Hurricane Gustav was gathering to a devastating Category 5 as it headed toward star-crossed New Orleans.
“It just wouldn't be appropriate to have a festive occasion while a near-tragedy or a terrible challenge is presented in the form of a natural disaster,” McCain told Chris Wallace of “Fox News Sunday,” in an interview taped for tomorrow. “So we're monitoring it from day to day and I'm saying a few prayers, too.”
McCain also said: “I'm afraid, Chris, that we may have to look at that situation and we'll try to monitor it. I've been talking to Govs. Jindal, Barbour, Riley. Chris, I've been talking to all of them.”
Officials at the convention, which is to open Monday in St. Paul, Minn., tell Politico they are figuring out how to handle the formal business of nominating McCain even if some delegations are not able to attend.
The officials also are preparing program contingencies in case such speakers as Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal have to cancel.
Maria Cino, the convention’s president and chief executive officer, said in a statement to Politico: "Like all Americans, our prayers are with those who will be affected by Hurricane Gustav. We continue to closely monitor the movement of the storm and are considering necessary contingencies.
“We are in communication with the Gulf state governors to make sure the convention is taking all the appropriate steps as the hurricane progresses. The safety of our affected delegations is our first priority and preparing for Gustav comes before anything else."
On Friday, Cino vowed on C-SPAN, in a quote picked up by the Drudge Report, that the gavel will come down.
President Bush, first lady Laura Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney are scheduled to speak Monday. The government’s botched response to Hurricane Katrina still stings, and Republicans said they doubt the president would come to a political bash if New Orleans was facing an existential threat.
New Orleans officials said they might begin a full evacuation Monday.
So - it looks like Gustav is going to be a big one - it's a cat 4 now. It's going to hurt somewhere. And there's another one named Hannah, right on it's heels.
At the very least, it looks like this provides an out to Bush and Cheney, to not appear. This is a positive for the Republicans, as they are the last two people they wanted to speak. Why else schedule the two of them, on the first day, Labor day, when many will be at parties and not watching TV? So nobody will notice, of course.
On the minus, there's no way Jindal will be able to appear. He would have been a very positive speaker. Maybe they will get him to record something.
I can't help but imagine that moving the convention would be incredibly expensive; think about all the rentals, hotel rooms, media who are already there, and delegations who have made plans long ago to attend this week. I think it will cost the Republican party a lot of money to change, so that's why I'm predicting that they will not.
Not to mention the PR disaster it will be for them. And the metaphors.
Anyways, this is an open thread to discuss the convention.