McCain Cancels Most Events on RNC's Day 1

But GOP eyes Gustav as opportunity for Katrina redemption
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 31, 2008 4:07 PM CDT
Republican presidential candidate John McCain announces changes to the RNC due to Hurricane Gustav outside the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency in Pearl, Miss., Sunday, Aug. 31, 2008.    (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)
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(Newser) – As Hurricane Gustav bore down on the Gulf Coast today, John McCain announced a drastically curtailed schedule for the opening day of the convention that will anoint him his party's presidential nominee, CNN reports. But as organizers stripped a grandiose event down to the bare minimum, Politico reports that Republicans are looking for a silver lining in Gustav's ominous clouds—Katrina redemption.

Morbid though it may be, the storm “shows McCain dealing with a surprise — a big event that has consequences on people,” a convention planner said. “It’s redemption for the Republican Party on the competence issue. The convention ends up being about John McCain showing the best way to serve a cause greater than yourself.” (Read more Hurricane Gustav stories.)