At Muted RNC, Cindy, Laura Plead for Gustav Aid

Focus on Gustav keeps mood subdued, 'party free'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 2, 2008 2:05 AM CDT

(Newser) – The GOP convention kicked off yesterday with the most subdued opening anybody can remember, Wayne Slater writes in the Dallas Morning News. The focus was firmly on Hurricane Gustav, Politico reports, and Cindy McCain and Laura Bush stepped in to appeal for aid for storm victims—in lieu of canceled appearances by George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.  

The first lady and the would-be first lady studiously avoided partisan rhetoric, with McCain borrowing her husband's line from earlier yesterday: "This is a time when we take off our Republican hats and put on our American hats." The party faithful, pushing the message of how Republican leaders responded aggressively to Gustav, seemed unfazed by the loss of a day's action. "We're not here for a rock show,” said one delegate.