Hurricane Puts Republican Convention Into a State of Flux

Republicans have cancelled all of the big speeches that had been planned for the first night of their national convention because of Hurricane Gustav. KPCC's Patt Morrison is in St. Paul, Minnesota covering the Republican National Convention. She told Morning Edition host Steve Julian that Republicans are taking the rest of the schedule day by day.

Steve Julian: This is 89.3, KPCC. It's 8:04. I'm Steve Julian. KPCC's Patt Morrison is in St. Paul, Minnesota for the Republican National Convention, but she's there with paper, pencils, and big erasers. Patt, what's been scratched from today's lineup?

Patt Morrison: Most of the big events of today's lineup have been scratched. George Bush was supposed to speak, Vice President Dick Cheney was supposed to speak, and now both of them will be no shows, because of Hurricane Gustav.

And the word is that they are preparing and monitoring that situation, doing what needs to be done in the Gulf Coast. So essentially what we have is what the convention needs to do legally. It needs to call itself to order, it needs to deal with its platform, and then they can pound the gavel and go home. Well, at least for the night.

Julian: Talk about the mood among the California delegates.

Morrison: The California delegates last night seemed to be having a good time. Of course, it's a little difficult when your governor, who was supposed to speak, will not be speaking, Governor Schwarzenegger staying behind to work on the budget.

Steve Poizner, the insurance commissioner, is here in a big way. And there are a couple of other Californians, like Kevin McCarthy, who are scheduled to speak later in the convention. And California's delegation always has a big foot, but just not as big as it would have liked this time around.

Julian: Hurricane Gustav is coming ashore as a category 2. It's been downgraded now. Is there talk about delaying things further?

Morrison: There's no talk that I have heard yet of delaying things further. They are monitoring the hurricane situation, and I think they will find it to be good news for the convention that the hurricane isn't as strong as it had been expected to, and they may be able to resume something like a normal schedule as early as tomorrow.

Julian: You've got great weather there. And what about protesters?

Morrison: It is Labor Day, and while that means holidays for most people, not you and me, Steve (laughs), there are a lot of people, tens of thousands, we hear, who are planning to march from the state capitol over to the convention to protest the war.

Julian: KPCC's Patt Morrison is in St. Paul, Minnesota all week for the convention, for the Republicans, and we'll have the updates as they become available throughout the week here with Patt. Patt, thanks so much.

Morrison: My pleasure.

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