Convention Update

What if the Republicans gave a convention and nobody came?

Republicans canceled the program for the first day of the party’s convention in St. Paul, Minn., the first dramatic change caused by Hurricane Gustav. ... Headliners President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney both called off appearances slated for Monday, and Ohio Rep. John Boehner, the House minority leader and chairman of the convention, raised the possibility that John McCain, the Republican’s standard-bearer, would deliver his acceptance speech remotely.

Boehner said the legally required business – approving the rules, adopting the platform and nominating McCain–would take place but “there would not be much beyond that.”

If the country is spared speeches by Bush, Cheney, and Boehner, the GOP will have finally done something in the national interest.

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    Actually it would be best if they spoke (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Faust on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:39:07 PM EST
    so that we can all remember what we are voting against.

    Exactly. (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by indy in sc on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:41:35 PM EST
    McCain couldn't be happier that Bush & Cheney have a legitimate reason to skip the convention.  He's not happy about the hurricane coming, but he's happy that it means no Bush.

    No Bush is a good thing (5.00 / 0) (#3)
    by americanincanada on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:45:27 PM EST
    so is the McCain camp telling everyone that there will be no rhetoric and that they are planning on taking down, or trying to take down, all the political advertising they had planned.

    The newsconference was pretty amazing. I have never seen anything like this ever. and by that I mean a natural disaster forcing something like this to happen to a national presidential nominating convention.


    Yup. (none / 0) (#14)
    by Iphie on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 04:11:42 PM EST
    Good for McCain -- right now the coverage is all about Sarah Palin. To have Bush, but especially Cheney give primetime speeches would bring everybody back down to reality. "Oh, right. This is what we need to change." The lower the profile of Bush and Cheney the better for McCain.

    I was reminded though, that McCain's birthday was one of the events that Bush did see fit to notice leading up to Katrina. Aside from reminding people about his age, it's probably not a coincident that McCain's birthday this year was glossed over by the VP rollout. I'm surprised we haven't seen more of the photographs of Bush and McCain and the birthday cake from three years ago.


    That's (none / 0) (#22)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 04:53:44 PM EST
    what I think If they aren't at the convention, that only helps McCain with his "maverick" image and weakens Obama's "bush-mcmain" argument.

    Oh, my God (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Pol C on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:52:55 PM EST
    Delete me if you will, ban me if you will, but that is an absolutely disgusting attitude, TChris. Hurrican Gustav is a matter beyond politics, or our antipathy, however justifiably intense, to certain politicians. Show some decency and take this diary down. You can at least remove the odious remarks you included after the blockquote.

    I don't know if you've seen that YouTube of Donnie Fowler making the rounds, but this post is almost as bad.

    Nice try (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by nalo on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 04:13:05 PM EST
    with the faux outrage...If you want to go with stupid comments, 'll match your Fowler with Karl Rove: "The Republicans can't seem to get a break with regards to August, when it comes to the weather." Is that making the rounds on youtube as well?

    To answer your question, I don't see anything in Chris' post to do with Gustav. Arnold S. + many, many others have been bailing out from the convention for the past month.  The Republican governors in the hurricane path are rightfully doing their jobs.  Bush, Cheney, and McCain are obviously trying a cynical pander to rehab their post-Katrina images, and people are not buying it.


    How dare you make me defend Rove (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by angie on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 05:14:46 PM EST
    but what he said is HARDLY the same thing as what Fowler said, which is that the timing of Gustav is proof that "God is on our [the Dems] side." If there is a God, He doesn't give a d@mn about the RNC or the DNC.

    Nice try, yourself (none / 0) (#18)
    by Pol C on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 04:38:12 PM EST
    But anyone who views a natural disaster as a good thing because it spares us from listening to scheduled speeches by politicians we revile has lost all sense of perspective. His or her sense of decency is also in question.

    Defending this disgraceful post calls your sense of decency into question as well.


    How on Earth (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by TChris on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 04:43:45 PM EST
    do you take from my post the notion that I consider a natural disaster "a good thing"?  It is the GOP convention planners, not the anticipated hurricane, that canceled the speeches.

    Perhaps it sounded that way because... (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Ardeth on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 04:56:58 PM EST
    ...the same sentence that states that Republican convention organizers canceled the speeches also mentions that this action was "the first dramatic change caused by Hurricane Gustav."

    Other democrats have been videotaped laughing and crowing about the hurricane's potential to disrupt the RNC.  I personally find that attitude appalling and not worthy of being hinted at, with whatever plausible deniability, on this blog.

    (long time fan, first time poster)


    The Gustav part (none / 0) (#28)
    by indy in sc on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 05:05:27 PM EST
    about the hurricane leading to a convention change is a quote from a third party source.  All TChris said was that if the GOP spares us speeches from Bush and Cheney--that would be good (I disagree--speeches from Bush and Cheney remind people what we're trying to move on from).  He said nothing about the Hurricane.  I had to look back at the post when I first saw Pol C's outraged blast to see if I'd missed something.  I hadn't--Pol C misread.

    I can understand where you're coming from... (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Pol C on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 05:11:39 PM EST
    ...because I pick over qualifiers when I write, too. But you have to understand when people miss them. This is what you wrote:

    If the country is spared speeches by Bush, Cheney, and Boehner, the GOP will have finally done something in the national interest.

    Given the context, it's not a big leap to take this as, "Yay for Gustav! Now we don't have to listen to Bush, Cheney, and Boehner!"

    I hope you understand where I'm coming from. But if you don't, I understand that, too.


    Ok, kinda see where you were coming from (none / 0) (#38)
    by nalo on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 06:07:25 PM EST
    It could sound bad if you look at like that.

    It didn't sound bad at all to me because I read the Bush, Cheney cancellations as a cynical ploy for getting out of the convention, something that has been rumored for the past month, well before Gustav.  Maybe if Chris had said Jindal, etc., I might have seen it your way.


    Good news for Louisiana (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by BrianJ on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:58:12 PM EST
    Gustav has been steadily weakening well before making landfall-  central winds down to 115mph-  so I suspect we'll get most of the GOoPer bloviating after all, since its result will be merely bad instead of catastrophic.

    I'm in texas, The storm has shifted (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by zfran on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 04:01:35 PM EST
    ever slightly to the west of NO. We're going to get lots of rain and flooding. I didn't hear the winds were down to 115 anything. It's still a cat 3 hurricane. Very dangerous. Unless you live through things, don't downgrade, please, it's importance.

    Oh, that's good to hear (none / 0) (#34)
    by Brookhaven on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 05:18:45 PM EST
    Because one meteorologist said that the worst case scenario for NOLA was if the winds shifted 30 miles East.  So, even a slight shift to the West is very good news.  Let's hope that shift continues to the West but in a way that the winds get weaker and that parts of Texas don't get whacked instead of NOLA.  

    Are you outside of the (none / 0) (#35)
    by Brookhaven on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 05:21:22 PM EST
    areas in Texas which may be affected by Gustav?

    No. I am right where it's going (none / 0) (#40)
    by zfran on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 08:43:03 PM EST
    to rain a lot. We're, so far on the cleaner side.
    P.S. My objection to the first post on this was because of what was said about the repubs. and the hurricane. This is serious stuff.

    Please stay safe (none / 0) (#41)
    by Brookhaven on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 12:42:24 AM EST
    I'm hoping for the best for you and your family and all those on the Gulf Coast.  

    Yes, but...... (none / 0) (#9)
    by michitucky on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 04:00:29 PM EST
    according to The Weather Channel, they expect the force to increase significantly overnight!!!

    No Politicians Allowed (5.00 / 3) (#11)
    by mmc9431 on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 04:03:21 PM EST
    Actually the Gulf should put up a sign "No Politician Allowed" The emergency workers will have more than enough to deal with. It drains manpower to just escort them around. They don't need a bunch of politician flocking down there for photo ops.

    Obama To Ask Supporters (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by JimWash08 on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 05:00:40 PM EST
    to contribute in anyway/every way they can:
    • money
    • actual relief and recovery work
    • food, clothing etc.

    This is a good move by Obama. Of course, it's a political move to match that of McCain's, which also is a political move.

    But I love that McCain said, "It is time to take off our Republican hats and put on our American hats" as this is no time for partisanship but for kinship.

    His campaign director and the convention chairman both said that partisanship rhetoric will be tamped down and advertising will be pulled off the air.

    I hope, and trust that Obama will do the same thing, and tamp down the anti-Republican rhetoric.

    Politics should, and needs to take a back seat this week.

    Their wunderkind Jindal (none / 0) (#4)
    by Cream City on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:49:31 PM EST
    is getting more and better coverage by not being there.  Very impressive press conference.  Taking actions, not just talking about action, as he would have as the keynoter.

    The GOP may lose impact by this, but it also may gain, or it may be a wash.  Whether the levees wash away, after years of federal funding of repair work (and see the video on the previous thread for an expose of the problems with that), will have more impact than the convention.  

    I think this is a good thing for them, makes (none / 0) (#5)
    by PssttCmere08 on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:50:51 PM EST
    them look like they care. I suspect the dems might have done the same thing.

    After watching C-Span for most of the (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by oculus on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:52:52 PM EST
    DNC, I'd say the GOP will get a bounce in the polls for not subjecting the public to more blather.

    Yes, I get the sense (none / 0) (#33)
    by Lil on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 05:17:38 PM EST
    they would love to cancel the whole thing than have the press hammering them about how their show didn't measure up to last weeks.

    Interesting theory on Huff Post today. (none / 0) (#36)
    by oculus on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 05:28:18 PM EST
    McCain announcing he chose Palin for VP took over the media, saving DNC and especially Obama's speech, from being torn apart by the media.  But, the media loved the speech.  

    that's true (none / 0) (#39)
    by Lil on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 06:48:42 PM EST
    Chris Matthews looked like he just had some, if you know what I mean.

    Yeah, thank God Gustav spares us (none / 0) (#12)
    by angie on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 04:04:31 PM EST
    from a speech by Bush -- I'm sure that is what on the minds of all the people seeking shelter right now, not to mention their friends & family like me. I've been up since 2:00 a.m talking with my mom & dad as they were evacuating NOLA (it took them 6 hours to drive the 83 miles from NOLA to the MS border) and being spared from political speeches at the RNC was exactly what we were talking about.

    This needs to be toned down (none / 0) (#13)
    by zvs888 on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 04:05:20 PM EST
    Yes there are partisan implications to this, but the rhetoric probably needs to be toned down.

    This is a travesty, and just as Dobson's comments about wishing it would rain on Denver were uncalled for, so is any kind of vindication over that here.

    Pluses for Republicans

    • Expectations dramatically lowered and they don't need to match the DNC in terms of spectacle, which is good for them; very good for McCain when you think about it
    • Bush/Cheney get to look competent rather than giving an endorsement to another 4 years of Republican rule
    • Jindal gets to look more and more national (I almost certainly expect him to attempt a VP/P run in another decade or so)

    Minuses for Republicans
    • Less of their other politicians to speak and make their case as well as introduce up-and-coming guys
    • Definite loss of focus on their convention
    • Won't get an opportunity to create momentum
    • Big lost opportunity to introduce Palin on the national stage like Biden got (even though he was a well known quantity anyways)

    Minuses for Dems -- (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by FemB4dem on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 05:00:58 PM EST
    videos of Donnie Fowler laughing about when Gustav will hit and saying God must be on the side of the Dems, and of Michael Moore on COuntdown saying that this news proves there is a God up in heaven.  What dolts.  Is this any better than Falwell and Robertson saying God caused 9-11 to punish America for its gays and pagans?  Actually, it's worse because we expect more of so-called Progressives.  Dumb, dumb, dumb.

    Scratch that (none / 0) (#16)
    by zvs888 on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 04:13:48 PM EST
    Seems as if McCain is going to try to take full advantage of it.

    Just heard an announcement that his speech would be given from the disaster area on Thursday.  I really hope he doesn't end up trying to milk it for political points.


    I watched the news conference (none / 0) (#17)
    by americanincanada on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 04:23:17 PM EST
    CNN ginned up that story abut a remote speech. It is not planned. They are going to do minimal business tomorrow at the convention from 3-5pm mountain then stop for the day. Anything after Monday is up in the air including the physical participation of both the nominee, McCain and Palin.

    They chartered a plan to take any delegates from the 5 gulf coast states home that wanted to go. 12 took them up on it from LA.

    They said they would brief the press every day but nothing after Monday was set yet. No political rhetoric would be spoken on Monday and they are trying to removing ads from tv and radio for tomorrow as well.


    I'll have to wait and see how this ... (none / 0) (#20)
    by Robot Porter on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 04:51:49 PM EST
    looks.  Could play well for him. Make him look concerned and presidential.  Or he could just look like a politician grandstanding.

    Of course he will be a politician grandstanding.

    But, in politics, it's not what a things is but how it appears.

    And, yes, had the hurricane occurred last week, I'm sure Obama would have done something similar.


    Nothing Has Been Set In Stone (none / 0) (#27)
    by JimWash08 on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 05:03:26 PM EST
    Just heard an announcement that his speech would be given from the disaster area on Thursday.  I really hope he doesn't end up trying to milk it for political points.

    Nothing has been announced officially or set in stone. Let's not spread false rumors.


    Seems the McCain camp chartered a plane (none / 0) (#21)
    by nycstray on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 04:52:58 PM EST
    Delegates from the region that have already arrived can go back to their families. They may end up bringing them back since they have hotel rooms already. This is per CNN

    Given how sick Americans are of republicans (none / 0) (#24)
    by pluege on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 05:00:15 PM EST
    cancellation of the republican convention and not airing speeches of their lunatic, disastrous "leaders" can only help mccain.

    Politically speaking, (none / 0) (#29)
    by jar137 on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 05:06:15 PM EST
    cancelling (or downsizing) the convention is the best thing for the republicans.  Clearly, they do not want to be seen partying if another disaster hits NOLA or the region.  They do not want the American people reminded of their outrageous disregard for the people of NOLA.  But this is their modus operandi for the entire past eight years- let's not remind the people of what we have done.  This is why a down-sized convention works for them. McCain's campaign is primarily based upon I'm not Obama.  Clean and simple.  Heavy focus on republican history and the replublican platform is not going to appeal to non-republicans in this election, I would argue.  

    To my mind, this is the first election in which the independents (inc. so-called Reagan Democrats) will actually decide the election.  Obama has the AA, comfy liberal, college student vote- ie, the reliable Dems) and McCain has the die-hard republicans.   The undecided, I posit, are looking to what will be done to fix the mess we're in.  In this light, focus on the republican party obviously does not help the republicans because they created the mess.  Hence, an underplayed convention could actually help them out- esp. after the success of the Democratic convention.  

    Caveat (none / 0) (#30)
    by jar137 on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 05:07:49 PM EST
    My comment was not intended to imply that natural disasters should be used for political purposes, just in case one could get this misimpression.

    You're right though on most accounts (none / 0) (#37)
    by zvs888 on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 05:34:49 PM EST
    Basically the candidate who wins this elections is the one who makes it a referendum on the other candidate.

    By basically moving the RNC out of the spotlight and letting the Palin selection die down, McCain will probably be able to put the spotlight back on why Obama is too risky within a week or so, and the less reminders of Bush/Cheney and the last 8 years, the better for them.