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Businessweek Archives

Convention Pared Back for Gustav

With Gustav a Category 3 hurricane and likely to hit Texas and Louisiana on Monday ?perhaps after intensifying overnight — GOP convention officials have announced a “serious revisions” to Monday’s schedule. More detail from the AP on the main BusinessWeek site.

The day’s events will include “only include what party rules governing the nomination of our candidates for president and vice president require,” but the convention will also make delegates and the home audience “aware of what they can do to assist in relief efforts.”

State delegations were already adjusting plans. Florida said its morning breakfast celebrating the delegation will instead become a prayer breakfast -- at last check, they were looking for local clergy to make an appearance -- and the state delegation will donate to the American Red Cross the money it would have spent on a "sunset" party Thursday.

The Democratic National Committee has also announced that "in light of the situation in the Gulf Coast," it won't hold the daily "More of the Same" media briefings it had planned.

McCain campaign manager Rick Davis said officials would monitor the situation and the proceedings would reconvene "at some point" before Thursday to ensure McCain and Palin qualify for the ballot in all 50 states.

Among other things, the McCain campaign said it had chartered a DC-9 and would bring Gulf State delegates to Jackson, Miss., if they wanted, at the campaign's expense. The convention is staffing an information center for delegates and others who remain.

The statement suggests strongly that, procedurally, the party has no choice but to at least start the process of nominating McCain and Palin on Monday sometime between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.: "Under the current party rules, this is the only method by which the party may select a candidate for President and Vice President."

Politically, the campaign is putting as good a face as possible on the disruption, calling for partisan cooperation and a common purpose. Illustrating the convention press release about the changes: a quote from McCain pledging "tomorrow night, and if necessary, throughout our convention ... to act as Americans, not as Republicans, because America needs us now no matter whether we are Republican or Democrat..."

President Bush and Vice-President Cheney had earlier scratched planned trips to the convention tommorrow.

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