John McCain gets his crowning moment at the Republican convention this week, but his priceless chance to make his White House case to voters may get swamped as vicious Hurricane Gustav threatens.
In a perfect political storm, Gustav is bearing down on the Louisiana coastline, just in time to remind Americans of the botched Republican-led response to Hurricane Katrina, three years ago.
Desperate not to be found wanting again, the party is making every effort to appear sensitive: McCain said he may suspend the convention if disaster strikes and the celebratory mood will certainly be curtailed by the storm’s approach.
The Republican convention in the midwestern state of Minnesota, had seemed set to resemble more of a wake than a celebration, with activists fearing defeat in November, and social conservatives unenthusiastic about McCain.
Bush, Cheney to skip convention
US President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney will skip the Republican National Convention because of mounting concerns about Hurricane Gustav, the White House said.
First lady Laura Bush, however, is still scheduled to address delegates in St. Paul, Minnesota, on Monday, the opening day.