John McCain is looking at several options for the convention if Gustav turns out to be as bad as predicted. One option, CNN is reporting, is to turn the convention into a telethon to raise money for the Red Cross and other charities. I’m trying to imagine how that would work. Would conventioneers be given ribbons to wear as a show of support for hurricane victims? Would the phone numbers to the Red Cross and other organizations scroll along the bottom of the screen with speakers encouraging Americans to call and donate? When I hear telethon, I think of Jerry Lewis standing next to a big board outlined with flashing lights projecting the amount of money raised.
As Hurricane Gustav’s power increased and the storm bore down on the Gulf Coast, Republicans grappled Saturday with problems both logistical and political.
Sen. John McCain’s campaign manager, Rick Davis, plans to meet with officials in charge of the party’s convention planning in Minneapolis-St. Paul on Sunday to review the latest news on Hurricane Gustav and what their options might be and then consult with the presumptive presidential nominee to determine what changes may need to be made.
“I wouldn’t call it a nightmare, but it is a very perplexing challenge,” said a GOP official planning the event.
A senior McCain source said Saturday that officials are considering turning the convention into a service event, a massive telethon to raise money for the Red Cross and other agencies to help with the hurricane.
“He wants to do something service-oriented if and when the storm hits and it’s as bad as its expected to be now,” the McCain source said.
The governors from the affected states, Bobby Jindal, Haley Barbour, Rick Perry, and Charlie Crist, will skip the convention.
Another the option is skipping or condensing the first day or two of the convention. No matter what, though, Gustav is going to put a crunch on this convention, and if McCain/Palin take just the right action, they could use this awful situation to show that they are ready to lead the nation.