August 31, 2008

BREAKING: Gustav And The RNC
— DrewM

Rick Davis is speaking now. Tomorrow's events will only be a brief business meeting. No speeches, etc.

The RNC says they are going to fly Gulf Coast delegates home (or as close as they can get, I guess) and will decide day by day on how much of a program they will have. It will all depend upon events down south.

Apparently according to the party's rules and charter they have to meet to basically keep the party in business as an organization, so they will do the minimum required to meet their legal obligations.

Before Davis spoke Sen. McCain spoke about the general tone of the upcoming convention.

“We must redirect our efforts from the really celebratory event of the nomination of president and vice president of our party to acting as all
Americans. We’ll change our program and I’ll be announcing details of it in
the next few hours. But there’s very little doubt that we have to go from
a party event to a call to the nation for action, action to help our fellow
citizens in this time of tragedy and disaster, action in the form of
volunteering, donations, reaching out our hands and our hearts and our
wallets to the people who are under such great threat from this great
natural disaster. I pledge that tomorrow night, and if necessary,
throughout our convention if necessary, to act as Americans not
Republians, because America needs us now no matter whether we are
Republican or Democrat.’’

I'm not saying that McCain looks at this as an advantage but it definitely plays in to his 'Country First' theme. What's the result of having a truncated national convention? No one knows. We'll find out over the course of the next few days.

Just for the sake of comparison, here's former DNC head Don Fowler talking with a sitting Democratic Congressman about the Gustav/RNC convergence.

That video was swiped from last night's post by Dave in Texas.

Posted by: DrewM at 11:10 AM | Comments (41)
Post contains 342 words, total size 2 kb.

1 I wonder if they would get a bounce by not having a convention at all. Everybody hates those things.

Posted by: bleh at August 31, 2008 11:18 AM (GNCy6)

2 This is a smart play. By showing that Republicans are open to the kind of constructive criticism the media offered after Katrina, we're sure to win their respect.

By the way, be sure to read my cover story in the next issue of National Review, "Denying the franchise to people who don't know what wine goes with pheasant".

Posted by: Rick Brookhiser at August 31, 2008 11:24 AM (CFjXn)

3 Excellent!

I actually thing is is a marvelous opportunity for McCain, Palin, and even Bobby Jindal to show their leadership.  Palin and Jindal are already leaders of states prone to natural disasters, and they need to come out front and center for the people facing this crisis.

I think Americans would welcome this show of support, and prefer it over the drone of left-wing media spending the whole week dumping all over the Republican convention.

Posted by: 8starsnorth at August 31, 2008 11:30 AM (wLqv4)

4 I hadn't realized that the storm was going to hit St. Paul, Minn. That's the only reason they'd have for shutting down the convention, right? Oh. They're worried about what the press might say... pussies.

Posted by: harrison at August 31, 2008 11:31 AM (Gv4O0)

5 Ah... no. They are uninterested in trying to compete with a national disaster for the country's attention. It wouldn't just seem petty to throw a 96-hour boondoggle while your countrymen are fighting to survive or to rescue others in peril--it would actually be petty.

Posted by: Immolate at August 31, 2008 11:39 AM (CcY2L)

6 harrison,

How about the mere fact that it would be wrong to party while millions of citizens are looking down the barrel of a Category 4 storm? And if you think that the press is the only group that would see something wrong with it, you need a reality check. Americans would see Republicans partying in silly hats while people are hunkering down.

Posted by: Benson at August 31, 2008 11:41 AM (qzcNU)

7 Obviously, John McCain and Sarah Palin care about black people.

Posted by: Kanye West at August 31, 2008 11:47 AM (XtqGn)

8 Great.  Another demographic pissed away.

Posted by: Barack Obama at August 31, 2008 11:48 AM (XtqGn)

9 good decision. Don Fowler and Michael Moore still need to drown in their own partisan bile

Posted by: Frank G at August 31, 2008 11:52 AM (P0rQD)

10 While the Fair Weather Media tried to pin Katrina entirely on Bush, it is interesting that Louisianians themselves ran off Gov. Blanco and hired a principled, competent, conservative reformer--just as Alaskans did. Despite the sick wishes of Don Fowler and Michael Moore, no one is going to get caught flat-footed this time.

Posted by: Noel at August 31, 2008 11:53 AM (4gHqM)

11 Sara Palin could have used her prime time speech at the convention to further define herself for the American voter before the left had a chance to caricature her as an inexperienced female Dan Quayle.  She can still do that,but won't have the speech to do it.  It makes it a little trickier.

In the 2001 gubernatorial election in NJ, Bret Schundler was a young republican maverick reformer who was up against Jim McGreevey, candidate of the democratic machine in Jersey.  Had he been able to run ads, take part in debates, give speeches, etc. he might have been able to paint McGreevey as the hack that he was and eke out a victory.  The events of September 11 precluded that from happening, he lost badly, McGreevey became governor and you know the rest.  While it is extrememly unlikely that Gustav will have a similar impact, these first few days are critical in defining a relatively unknown candidate such as Palin, and losing the convention will not help.  She can still pull it off, but will have to do it without seeming to take advantage of the hurricane.

Posted by: Sean at August 31, 2008 11:58 AM (3LifV)


Rick Davis did much more than cancel Monday.  He effectively canceled the entire convention, saying that all convention activities on all four days would effectively be suspended, and that the convention people would give daily updates as to what, if any, activities will go forward on Teusday, Wednesday, and Thursday.   A foolish overreaction, I think.

Canceling Monday makes sense.  It is wrong to hold a convention while the storm is still active, and, to be political, it gives the convention an excuse to 86 Bush and Cheney.  Besides, nobody would cover it anyway.  But what you do not do is give up your press coverage on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, too. 

Obama will thank you for that by running down to New Orleans on Tuesday to sift through rubble with Biden, resulting in all the press devoting much of their attention to Obama during the Republicans' convention time.  Then Obama will come out and find some cockamamie reason to attack the Republicans' response to the storm on Wednesday, resulting in further negative coverage. 

Very poor decision-making on the GOP's part, I'm afraid.

Posted by: Outlander at August 31, 2008 11:59 AM (qe13D)

13 Outlander,

I think that's a little harsh. They are going to play it day by day. McCain's people have proven to be pretty deft and dealing with fast changing currents. I think they are keeping their options open and will create something that reflects the reality of the day. The problem is at this point they don't know what those realities are yet.

Blindly going forward without any idea about what's too come would be a disaster.

Posted by: DrewM. at August 31, 2008 12:04 PM (hlYel)

14 I'd rather see someone DOING something instead of TALKING about the need to do something. This plays to McCain's strength. Besides, McCain's strong point is the townhall format, not giving a prepared speech.

On the downside, no convention means that the coming Olberman/MSNBC meltdown won't happen.

Posted by: liontooth at August 31, 2008 12:09 PM (n3pxb)

15 Benson, friend, if this storm wasn't headed for NOLA this wouldn't be an issue.

Posted by: harrison at August 31, 2008 12:11 PM (Gv4O0)

16 How about the mere fact that it would be wrong to party while millions of citizens are looking down the barrel of a Category 4 storm? Maybe the citizens should have grabbed their shit and left by now.

Posted by: harrison at August 31, 2008 12:14 PM (Gv4O0)

17 Eat it Fowler, you "macaca".

Posted by: Techie at August 31, 2008 12:14 PM (yjPD8)

18 I shouldn't be giving these turds any further attention, but on HuffPo today Michael Moore has a post in which he reiterates his evil sentiments from earlier this week. Some other asshole there named Ellis Weiner is saying the same thing. This stuff, along with all the creepy unhinged attacks on Palin--I'm really steamed, y'all. I want to beat everliving shit out of these people, like a rented stepchild, red-haired mule, what have you, doesn't matter--these freaks have to go down. (Electorally, just to be clear on that.) McCain ✯ Palin '08

Posted by: stace at August 31, 2008 12:15 PM (JO0c/)


Showing flexibility in the face of a potential disaster of unknown magnitude is the right way to go.  McCain is jumping the gun in his already declaring it some huge tragedy, but I think overreacting a bit is ok here.  On the whole, an excellent response.

If people are worried about Palin's speech, it's pretty easy to deal with that ... assuming she's helping organize efforts somewhere (she's the one with executive experience after all).  For a speech, she can be live from the coordination center or what have you, say something brief and to the point, and say she has work to do.  Home run.

I wouldn't strategize this overmuch or worry about  how it looks.  The MSM is going to spin against them no matter what they do, so just do the right freaking thing and let the chips fall where they may.  Holding a huge party isn't the right thing, and most Americans are going to instinctively feel the same way.


Posted by: Hermit Dave at August 31, 2008 12:19 PM (WhFvm)

20 Maybe the citizens should have grabbed their shit and left by now.

Doesn't matter. Citizens are leaving their homes and possessions behind and will return to devastation. Republicans partying at the same time isn't the best perception possible.

Benson, friend, if this storm wasn't headed for NOLA this wouldn't be an issue.

I'm not so sure. We're not talking about any regular hurricane here. This is scheduled to hit landfall at a Category 4 status, with 10' to 16' storm surge. That's a big ass freakin' storm.

Posted by: Benson at August 31, 2008 12:21 PM (qzcNU)

21 Isn't it funny when a "if you fuck with us you will take a big black cock up your ass" reference is made..the chocalate city man said it and you could see the smiles on the people on the podium when he said any looters would go to angola sp general pop...classic

Posted by: David C at August 31, 2008 12:37 PM (Ckb6d)


@HermitDave-If people are worried about Palin's speech, it's pretty easy to deal with that ... assuming she's helping organize efforts somewhere (she's the one with executive experience after all).  For a speech, she can be live from the coordination center or what have you, say something brief and to the point, and say she has work to do.  Home run.

But that's just the problem.  Palin is the Alaska governor.  The storm is not in Alaska.  She's out of her jurisdiction and has no business being in a "coordination center" and no right or legal duty to be doing any "work" of any kind.  That's what the National Guard, FEMA, and the Governors of the affected states are supposed to be doing. 

What you do with Palin is this -- you put her up on Wednesday night, in prime time, for the full hour, and you have her lay out her positive vision for the country.  Have her introduce herself, talk about where she thinks the country should go, and so forth.  She can use part of her convention speech time to congratulate all the (Republican) leaders who properly responded to the storm and to extend her sympathies to the victims of the storm and her appreciation to all those who are working to save people from the storm.  Don't have her run any negative attacks on Biden or The One.  Voila.

Posted by: Outlander at August 31, 2008 12:38 PM (qe13D)

23 I won't be in New Orleans, since the Amtrak Acela doesn't go there. I'll be at home in Delaware if you need me for anything, like pandering to the unions.

Posted by: Joe Biden at August 31, 2008 12:39 PM (oFTeH)

24 the MSM/DNC-churned fallout from Katrina is certainly a consideration, regardless of the proven lies most reports turned out to be. If Nagin does well this time, it'll be because Jindal and the Feds won't let him fall apart like last time. Postponement is the wise decision, at least for a day

Posted by: Frank G at August 31, 2008 12:41 PM (P0rQD)

25 Outlander - that works

Posted by: Frank G at August 31, 2008 12:43 PM (P0rQD)


Outlander -- I agree she has no formal or legal role in the actual disaster response coordination.  I'm thinking more along volunteer effort lines ... anyone can be a volunteer to organize donations of money, food, clothing, etc.

I like your approach as well ... my main concern is that the GOP treat this as a serious issue  and not go throwing some huge party  in the midst of a potential disaster.

Posted by: Hermit Dave at August 31, 2008 12:44 PM (WhFvm)

27 I'm going to fucking party like it's 2009, bitches.

Posted by: Bill Clinton at August 31, 2008 12:54 PM (iXM3B)

28 Republicans partying at the same time isn't the best perception possible.

Exactly, it's perception.

I'm not so sure. We're not talking about any regular hurricane here. This is scheduled to hit landfall at a Category 4 status, with 10' to 16' storm surge. That's a big ass freakin' storm.

I was in Charleston for Hugo and I don't remember the rest of the country stopping their lives while it went through.

As opposed to folks calling bullshit on the "the right hates poor people" meme we end up cowering from the media hoping they'll be nice.


Posted by: harrison at August 31, 2008 12:57 PM (Gv4O0)

29 It sure looks like Gustav will come in west of New Orleans and weaker than thought ... it could be all over by tomorrow night, with damage but not catastrophe ... a good start to the convention, except for the short first night

still it shows where their priorities are ... makes them look more "working class"  maybe ....

Maybe they will put a little more back in the program if Gustav is petered out by Monday night ...

Posted by: bill at August 31, 2008 01:31 PM (l19H/)

30 Watching Bibby Jindal on Fox right now.  He puts Blanco to shame.  She was interviewed earlier and was asked about how the operation is going this time and what mistakes she made that have been corrected in the current response to the emergency.  She proceeded to answer the question by blaming the Feds for their slow reaction to Katrina, forgetting, I guess, that she rejected their initial offers of support and that her crony Nagin didn't do anything until too late as well.

I spent nearly a week there - as much time as I could afford - volunteering at relief stations and traveling/patroling with the Arkansas National Guard right after Katrina.  I got a chance to talk to many locals, troops, and volunteers and the opinion I developed is that LA fucked itself.  Jindal is not going to let that happen, and even though it's not the Fed's responsibility, both the Bush administration and the McCain campaign are going way beyond the call of duty to help out on this one.

BTW, most MSM articles I have seen covering this are prefaced (paraphrasing here), "Still smarting from the poor/slow/criminal Federal response to Katrina, preparations are being made..."

Posted by: Jason at August 31, 2008 02:05 PM (MELd7)

31 Heh.  "Bibby"

Let's just change that to "Bobby"

Posted by: Jason at August 31, 2008 02:05 PM (MELd7)


"Everybody hates those things."

Except for the MSM who use them to show us how vital they still are (right), and the host cities (along with merchants, restaurants and hotels), I think most normal (key word) people could do without the conventions. I live in the Mpls./St. Paul area and have no desire to go anywhere near the RNC, nor do I plan on watching any of it, including news coverage.

Posted by: John F Not Kerry at August 31, 2008 02:43 PM (HF2US)


I agree with Outlander.

The worst of this storm is going to be over Monday night, unless the levees break.

The convention can ramp up on Tuesday and peak with Palin's address to the country Wednesday night. People in this country need to hear this lady talk. She's already got my can't-say-a-single-nice-thing-about-Bush BDS mom very interested along with her Hillary friends.

Posted by: turtle at August 31, 2008 02:50 PM (ZiZaA)

34 Michael Moore proved poor judgment again tempting God.

Bush called LA Gov & NO Mayor repeatedly, days before Katrina arrived, to evacuate everyone out of the city since hell and high water were on their way with a fury. The Democrat HOPE was to CHANGE WHAT WE BELIEVE IN--erase the record to "remember" the lie that caused the problem. The MSM are still stuck on stupid.

Well, since they are evacuating this time, heeding federal advice, it appears that with a Republican Governor, NO/LA learned to follow Republican leadership to survive towards reaching prosperity by not insisting on remaining ignorant and stupid as the MSM/Democrat leadership teach the masses to remain.

Posted by: maverick muse at August 31, 2008 03:22 PM (F1b/5)

35 Folks, if the country gets to compare Dems celebrating themselves under a massive Superbowl-style storm of fireworks and confetti (which is exactly what it looked like, at a football stadium no less), and Repubs (the Govs of all three target states TX, LA, and MS are all Repubs) successfully helping people cope with a massive real storm, it is going to be inescapably obvious which party is the one capable of helping the people, and which is the one dedicated to using the people to make themselves feel like celebrities.

Posted by: sissoed at August 31, 2008 03:37 PM (ICGqd)

36 Well, the Republicans have to officially nominate McCain this week, they are already pushing the election timeline in California (the need to translate the ballot into every known language takes time.)

Posted by: Marvin at August 31, 2008 03:46 PM (uD0rH)

37 F' Nawlins...what about my godamned jet fuel???!

Posted by: P Diddy at August 31, 2008 05:10 PM (vlmzk)

38 By showing that Republicans are open to the kind of constructive criticism the media offered after Katrina, we're sure to win their respect.

Bullshit.  We could arrive, each of us, clothed in white with Elijah and Moses at our sides and the CNN headline would read "Klan Arrives, Rapes Reported".

It's getting old being on the receiving end of this shit.  Fucking communist Boomers.  Would you fucking die already so the rest of us can get over you? Because you sure as fuck won't get over yourselves.

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