Karma can be a real bitch. Who would have thought, three years ago when George Bush and John McCain were in Arizona enjoying cake while New Orleans got the crap knocked out of it, and that indecision by the President, poor political appointees and a myriad of other missteps would lead to the events of this next week.
Think how different things would have been IF Bushie had responded like a true leader when one of America's largest cities was nearly destroyed. Think how different things would have been IF political appointees had been chosen for their qualifications for the job instead of their fundraising abilities. Think how different things would have been IF a complete callousness on the part of the Administration had not been played out 24/7 while people died in the streets.
Instead, because of gross misjudgments the GOP is looking at having to change plans that have been in place for 18 months. Looking at changing to insure the APPEARANCE of INSENSITIVITY is not again played out on a National stage. If Bushie had done it right the first time, the GOP could have had their convention uninterrupted, covered the storm and come out as heros. IF ONLY.
Storm scrambles GOP convention
By MIKE ALLEN & JONATHAN MARTIN | 8/30/08 10:32 PM EST
President Bush is unlikely to make it to the Republican National Convention, and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) may deliver his acceptance speech via satellite because of the historically huge hurricane threatening New Orleans, top officials said.
Late Saturday night, the RNC was planning to issue a release announcing the formation of " working group of representatives from each of the states in Hurricane Gustav's path. The group will ensure that all affected delegates have information and assistance in real time.
"The Affected States Working Group is led by all five state party chairs from the affected area along with other delegation officials. The purpose of the group will be to regularly brief their delegates and convention planners, provide access to timely information and assistance, and give input on appropriate steps that can be taken from Minnesota."
Officials insisted that the convention, scheduled to open here on Monday, will go on â€” albeit in a more limited and sedate form â€” even if Hurricane Gustav stays on its projected path. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin ordered a mandatory evacuation beginning at 8 a.m. Sunday after federal officials said Gustav could grow to a catastrophic Category 5 and hit Monday afternoon somewhere between eastern Texas and western Mississippi.
McCain made plans to travel to a threatened area of the Gulf Coast on Sunday, accompanied by his wife, Cindy, and running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. They planned to meet Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) in Jackson, Miss., aides said.
McCain was scheduled to deliver his acceptance speech Thursday but now may do so from the devastation zone if the storm hits the U.S. coast with the ferocity feared by forecasters.
At the start of his remarks at a rally in Washington, Pa. on Saturday night, McCain said: "I would like all of us obviously to keep in our thoughts and our prayers the people of the Gulf Coast, especially New Orleans that are threatened by this terrible natural disaster, the hurricane. They need to know â€” and I know that they know â€” that they are in our hearts and prayers as this impending hurricanes approaches.
â€śThe great God, that he could spare â€” at a minimum â€” the loss that might result from this natural disaster. So my friends, as we enjoy this great rally, we will keep them in our thoughts and our hearts and our prayers.â€ť
Officials of the convention, the Republican Party, the White House and the McCain campaign were all scrambling this weekend to rewrite more than a year of planning for what they had hoped would be a joyful four days starting Monday.
McCain told Chris Wallace of â€śFox News Sundayâ€ť in an interview taped for broadcast Sunday that the convention could be rescheduled. â€śIt 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,â€ť McCain said. â€śSo we're monitoring it from day to day and I'm saying a few prayers, too.â€ť
Organizers confronted a plate of unhappy options, wanting to appear in touch and sympathetic, while still carrying out their necessary business of officially nominating the partyâ€™s presidential candidate.
One top convention planner said Saturday night to expect a more definitive plan by mid-afternoon Sunday. The source indicated that they had held off on making any firm pronouncements because of the uncertainty as to when Gustav will make landfall, and that they wanted to ascertain a better sense of its impact before making decisions. Convention planners were preparing contingencies for making the nomination official even if delegates were missing from the threatened area.
Officials were considering such a video link for Bush, among other possibilities that they would not specify.
The Red Cross may come in to the Xcel Energy Center to mobilize the delegates in a giant service project, preparing care packages for the hurricane zone, organizers said.
The White House announced that Bush on Sunday morning will visit the headquarters of the Federal Emergency Management Agency for a briefing by federal, state and local officials.
Bush was scheduled to speak to delegates Mondays in what was to be one of his last hurrahs as president. But a top Republican now said he is unlikely to attend. Vice President Cheney and First Lady Laura Bush are also scheduled to speak Monday.
White House Press Secretary Dana Perino told reporters on a conference call Saturday that the government was preparing for one of the most potentially devastating storms in the nationâ€™s history.
Last Friday was the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina's landfall, and the governmentâ€™s tardy response still haunts the Bush administration.
This time, the federal government has been very proactive, with Bush talking by phone on Saturday with governors in the affected area.
Republican officials here are preparing for radical changes to the every element of the convention. If the storm is as bad as feared, they will dramatically alter the tone of the speeches, cut way back on the partisan red meat, eliminate the glitzy entertainment, and, if they legally can, use the gathering for a massive fund-raising drive that may even feature a passing of buckets on the convention floor to benefit the Red Cross, according to a top GOP source.
â€śWeâ€™ll have to acknowledge that Americans are hurting,â€ť said this Republican.
Much can be changed or altogether dropped from the convention, but it emphatically must take place in some form because McCain needs to be nominated to be legally placed on the ballot in all 50 states. â€śThere are no exceptions to that,â€ť said the source.
For now, though, theyâ€™re hesitant to act too quickly.
But as the hours pass, the television networks, who have already invested considerable cash in the made-for-TV quadrennial ritual, are becoming increasingly impatient and are pressing party officials to firm up plans.
The networks are stretched thin, in terms of both personnel and equipment, between here and the Gulf region and need to make their own decisions. But Republicans are reluctant to react too quickly under pressure.
â€śWe donâ€™t want to pushed into a herd mentality by the television media,â€ť said a senior GOP source.
Maria Cino, the conventionâ€™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.
Storm scrambles GOP convention - Mike Allen and Jonathan Martin - Politico.com