Day 1: The Republican National Convention (Update)

The gavel went down on day 1 of the RNC with an initial call to begin donating money to disaster relief. In the same spirit, I’ll repeat what they asked here since it applies to anyone concerned with the hurricane relief efforts.

Delegates and home viewers were asked to do the following:

Text the word: GIVE
To the number: 24375

This will donate $5 on your cellular bill to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. You can donate more than once.

Report on the opening from Yahoo News:

ST PAUL, Minn. – The Republican Party has gaveled its 2008 presidential nominating convention to order, ready to have Sen. John McCain carry the party’s banner this fall against Democrat Barack Obama.

The party stuck with its plan to proceed with the long-planned convention despite the distraction of Hurricane Gustav’s strike along the Gulf Coast earlier Monday. President Bush, who had been expected to appear at the convention Monday night, called that off so he could go to Texas to monitor the storm developments.

Party chairman Robert Duncan told delegates Monday’s session would be abbreviated and he urged them and people watching at home to help people whose lives have been disrupted by the hurricane. His first formal word was an explanation of how people can make donations on their cellular phones. Duncan said: “Through a simple text message, you can give help to your countrymen.”

Another report from AOL News:

The opening day program was shorn of political rhetoric, and trimmed to two and a half hours from an intended seven in deference to the threat Gustav posed to New Orleans and other areas along the Gulf Coast.

Rather than a keynote address or other political oratory, the convention programmers gave McCain’s wife, Cindy, and first lady Laura Bush top billing to make televised appeals for help for hurricane victims. The governors of four Gulf states were speaking by videotape.

Aides said they would determine the podium schedule for the balance of the week on a day-to-day basis.

The other business of the convention’s opening session was adoption of a party platform, a document that largely sidesteps the national debate about the Iraq War.

“The waging of war – and the achieving of peace – should never be micromanaged in a party platform. … In dealing with present conflicts or future crises, our next president must preserve all options,” it said.

It appears that Laura Bush, Cindy McCain, and others are still scheduled to speak this evening at some point.

Will update later as the day develops….


Laura Bush and Cindy McCain addressed the delegates and introduced pre-recorded video messages from 4 Gulf Coast Governors.

Laura Bush’s introduction and the recorded messages from the governors:

Cindy McCain speaks after Mrs. Bush:

That was about it for the convention activities today. Nothing major, of course, as the focus was solely on hurricane Gustav’s landfall on the Gulf Coast. Tuesday is supposed to be more of a normal schedule assuming there are no major disasters related to Gustav’s aftermath.

Will update on Tuesday with the speaking schedule and all important video.