Republican National Convention Day 1: September 1, 2008


Laura Bush, Cindy McCain call for Gustav donations (CNN)

Laura Bush, Cindy McCain call for Gustav donations (CNN)

Day 1 Schedule

    Country First: Service

    John McCain 2008 and 2008 Republican National Convention Announce Changes to Convention Program and Hurricane Response Efforts

    Monday’s Convention Program Will Only Include Required Proceedings, McCain Campaign Takes Steps to Aid Affected Delegations

    “Love of country, my friends, is another way of saying love of your fellow countryman.”
    –Sen. John McCain

    John McCain’s commitment to his fellow Americans, a commitment forged in service to his country, is one of the defining hallmarks of his life. Monday’s events will highlight John McCain’s record of service and sacrifice and reflect his commitment to serving a cause greater than one’s own selfinterest.

    Speakers: First Lady Laura Bush and Cindy McCain
    GOP Convention 2008


  • September 1, 2008: GOP convention appeals for hurricane aid; Palins say unmarried daughter is pregnant … Palin says daughter, 17, is pregnant; announcement aims to rebut rumors about governor’s son … Obama curtails campaign to watch Gustav, asks for Red Cross donations … McCain says campaign raised $47 million in August … Smashing windows and throwing bottles, some protesters turn violent in march to GOP convention … Biden skips Pittsburgh parade to monitor Gustav, still plans to visit hometown of Scranton. – AP, 9-1-08

Stats & In the News…

  • GOP convention opening with appeal for Gustav aid – AP, 9-1-08
  • Republican Convention by the Numbers – PBS Newshour, 9-1-08
  • McCain raises $47 million in August – AP, 9-1-08
  • Palin’s Teen Daughter Is Pregnant; New G.O.P. Tumult – NYT, 9-1-08
  • 5 arrested in protests at GOP convention site – AP, 9-1-08

Historians’ Comments

  • Henry Robertson on “McCain’s VP choice surprises La. GOP leaders”: And associate history professor Henry Robertson at Louisiana College in Pineville says the history doesn’t end there, with both the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates snubbing political tradition by choosing their running mates from states with few electoral votes. Obama’s running mate, Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, hails from a state with three electoral votes, the same as Palin’s Alaska. “On both counts, I think, it was kind of a surprise that they didn’t pick people to geographically balance or to have the kind of electoral count you would expect,” said Robertson, who also is the faculty adviser to the College Republicans, a student group at LC. Robertson did praise Palin’s selection, though, calling her “an excellent choice, a fresh new face” who will make the Republican ticket a strong contender. But as Republicans expressed glee with their completed ticket, they also expressed concern as Hurricane Gustav threatened to wreak havoc just as their convention kicks off. Robertson suggested that the party should consider delaying the convention should Gustav become a large national event. “I don’t think you want to have a convention when you have a major emergency in the United States,” Robertson said. “I do think it would be wise if they waited, or delayed certainly, the convention because the focus needs to be on what is going on, on the Gulf Coast.” – The Town Talk, LA, 8-30-08

The Speeches….

  • First Lady Laura Bush encouraging contributions for hurricane relief
    “Our first priority is to assure the safety and well-being of those living in the Gulf Coast region. When such events occur, we are reminded that, first, we are all Americans, and that our shared American ideals will always transcend political parties and partisanship. We hope that the people on the Gulf Coast know that the American people are here to do what we can to assist them.”

    Though she focused on private aid, Bush noted that her husband “has been speaking with the officials in the region to make sure they have what they need from the federal government.”

    She noted that the governors of the affected states — Texas, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida — “happen to be Republicans,” but had canceled their planned attendance at the convention in St. Paul, Minnesota.

    “We know that it’s far more important for them to remain in their home states to provide the leadership and the management of this crisis…. Let’s work together to provide those affected with the means to restore and rebuild their communities.”

  • First Lady Laura Bush listened as Cindy McCain spoke at the 2008 Republican National Convention on Monday in St. Paul. (NYT)

    First Lady Laura Bush listened as Cindy McCain spoke at the 2008 Republican National Convention on Monday in St. Paul. (NYT)

  • Cindy McCain encouraging contributions for hurricane relief
    Cindy McCain, said her husband, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, John McCain, “has been saying for the last several days this is the time we take off our Republican hats and put on our American hats.” She urged Americans to go to, a Web site paid for by John McCain 2008, to donate. “That will allow all of us to aid those who have been affected by Hurricane Gustav.”

On the Campaign Trail….

  • Obama Cuts Short Rally and Calls for Moment of Silence
    “Today’s not a day for political speeches. I hope you’ll forgive me. I hope you don’t mind. Today is the day for all of us to come together as Americans and send our thoughts and prayers to our brothers and sisters who are worrying at this very hour…. I know that John McCain wants what’s best for the people that have been evacuated. I know George Bush wants what’s best and so do I. So I want all of us to come together. “I will be monitoring it all day,” Mr. Obama said, urging people to give to the Red Cross or contribute in whatever way they could. “We are prayerful this will not be the same situation we saw three years ago.”
  • Obama says Palin’s family off limits

    Sen. Barack Obama campaigns in Monroe, Michigan, on Monday. (AP)

    Sen. Barack Obama campaigns in Monroe, Michigan, on Monday. (AP)

    “Let me be as clear as possible,” Obama said. “I think people’s families are off-limits, and people’s children are especially off-limits. This shouldn’t be part of our politics. It has no relevance to Gov. Palin’s performance as governor or her potential performance as a vice president.” Mr. Obama said the pregnancy “has no relevance to Governor Palin’s performance as a governor or her potential performance as a vice president… My mother had me when she was 18. How a family deals with issues and teen-age children — that shouldn’t be the topic of our politics, and I hope that anybody who is supporting me understands that’s off-limits. So, I would strongly urge people to back off these kinds of stories.”

    “I am offended by that statement. There is no evidence at all that any of this involved us. We don’t go after people’s families; we don’t get them involved in the politics. It’s not appropriate, and it’s not relevant,” he added. “Our people were not involved in any way in this, and they will not be. And if I ever thought that there was somebody in my campaign that was involved in something like that, they’d be fired.”

  • McCain spokesman Steve Schmidt about news of Bristol Palin’s Pregnancy
    “Senator McCain’s view is this is a private family matter. As parents, (the Palins) love their daughter unconditionally and are going to support their daughter. Life happens.”
  • Sarah and Todd Palin said in a brief statement about their Daughter’s Pregnancy
    “Our beautiful daughter Bristol came to us with news that as parents we knew would make her grow up faster than we had ever planned. We’re proud of Bristol’s decision to have her baby and even prouder to become grandparents. Bristol and the young man she will marry are going to realize very quickly the difficulties of raising a child, which is why they will have the love and support of our entire family. We ask the media, respect our daughter and Levi’s privacy as has always been the tradition of children of candidates.”
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