Category 4 Gustav’s Impact on GOP Convention
Gustav slammed into Cuba’s Isla de Juventud as a Category 4 hurricane today, causing havoc in that Caribbean island, evacuations in New Orleans, and political issues in St. Paul, Minn. Forecasters expected that the storm would grow into s Category 5 hurricane, but weaken somewhat before striking the U.S. coastline near New Orleans sometime Monday. The hurricane was expected to impact oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday. At least 81 have died in the storm so far.
There is much speculation tonight on how Hurricane Gustav will affect the Republican Convention in St. Paul, which is scheduled to open on Monday in St. Paul, Minn. As of Saturday night, it looks like there will be a scaled-down convention. But John McCain told Chris Wallace today during an interview for “FOX News Sunday” that he is watching the situation and is open to the idea of postponing the convention.
From a public relations standpoint, and a humanitarian consideration, putting the convention on hold would be a good idea. Nobody, even hard-core Republican conservatives and other party faithful, would be interested in political speeches, confetti and balloons while millions suffer in New Orleans in a replay of a national nightmare.
With the Republican National Convention set to open Monday in St. Paul, the threat posed by Hurricane Gustav has already prevented prominent GOP officials from attending and has John McCain on edge about whether the event should be postponed.
Convention planners insist the week-long celebration is going forward as scheduled.
But the presumptive GOP nominee told FOX News, in an interview to air on “FOX News Sunday,” that holding the convention while Gulf Coast residents suffer would be insensitive.
“I’m afraid … that we may have to look at that situation and we’ll try to monitor it,” McCain said. “But you know 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. So we’re monitoring it from day to day and I’m saying a few prayers too.”
McCain and his running mate Sarah Palin will travel to Mississippi on Sunday to check on people getting prepared for Gustav. The two are expected to receive a briefing at the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.