The Republican National Convention, at least with respect to Monday's activities, was drastically scaled back today. Released to the media earlier this afternoon was the following announcement:
At the recommendation of Sen. John McCain, the 2008 Republican National Convention announced substantial changes to the convention’s program and actions being taken to help with Hurricane Gustav relief efforts. On Monday, all program activities beyond the official business that must be conducted in accordance with party rules will be cancelled. Among the other actions announced today are the formation of the Affected States Working Group, the establishment of an Affected States Information Center, and the chartering of a DC-9 to transport affected delegates.
Rick Davis, campaign manager for McCain 2008, announced that the upcoming Republican National Nominating Convention is making serious revisions to the convention program and surrounding activities. Davis said, "We are deeply concerned about the safety and welfare of the residents of the Gulf State region. Our top priority is to assist those who will be affected by Hurricane Gustav. This is not a time for politics or celebration; it is a time for us to come together as Americans and assist the residents of the Gulf States."
Monday's proceedings will begin at 2:30 p.m. CDT, for a limited duration to conduct official business that must be addressed. Davis explained:
"In order for the Republican Party to officially exist and for Senator McCain to qualify for the ballot, we are - by law - required to conduct specific official business. At this point, our program on Monday has been scaled back and will only include what party rules governing the nomination of our candidates for president and vice president require. We will perform the official business as required. In addition, we have set aside time to make delegates and Americans watching our proceedings at home aware of what they can do to assist in relief efforts designed to help those who will be affected by Hurricane Gustav."
Also in today's announcement were details as to steps taken by the McCain campaign to address Convention-related concerns arising from Gustav:
The McCain campaign has also taken several additional steps to assist delegates from the Gulf States, including the formation of an Affected States Working Group, the chartering of a DC-9 to transport affected delegates, and the establishment of an Affected States Information Center.
It appears that Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's speech, originally scheduled for Monday, will be postponed until later in the week. He's in good company since the President, First Lady and Vice President's speeches for tomorrow were also cancelled.
As for the nomination of Senator John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin, Davis concluded:
"At some point between Monday and Thursday evening, we will convene once again to complete the activities needed to qualify Senator McCain and Governor Palin for the ballot in all 50 states. Beyond that, all we can say is that we will monitor what is happening and make decisions about other convention business as details become available."