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Sunday, August 31, 2008

John McCain And Barack Obama Focus On Hurricane Gustav

One of the things that makes America great is the way that many Americans rally to the aide of others in trouble. When Hurricane Andrew hit so many years ago in Florida, devastating the city, I lived there at the time and I saw strangers helping each other, reaching out to each other in small and large ways.

Katrina showed some of that same basic human spirit with people in boats, going house to house to help save their neighbors and even those they had never met.

Today we see that even political opponents can put away their swords, stop fighting and rally to help Americans in trouble.

John McCain and Barack Obama take time out from political bickering to both focus on Hurricane Gustav and helping the areas most in danger of the destructive storm heading their way.
John McCain has ordered Convention changes as reported by the Associated Press, to "redirect" efforts and goals of the Republican Convention as he vows to focus on the massive Hurricane barreling towards the U.S. Gulf Coast.

McCain states, "I pledge that tomorrow night, and if necessary throughout our convention, we will act as Americans and not as Republicans because America needs us now." He continued on to tell reporters, "We must redirect our efforts from the really celebratory event of the nomination of the president and vice president of our party to acting as all Americans."

The McCain campaign has also chartered a DC-9 jetliner to bring any delegates from St. Paul to their home states to face the problems which lies ahead.

As reported yesterday, one of the contingency plans for the worst case scenario, made by the McCain campaign was to turn Republicans staying for the Convention into Red Cross workers and creating some type of "giant hurricane relief effort" by collecting food and goods as well as donations for the potential victims of the storm.

Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour invited McCain to tour the Mississippi area to see the preparations that were being made but he will not be going to Louisiana for fear of a high profile visit disturbing the preparations that were being made in advance to the storm.

Rudy Giuliani, former Republican presidential candidate and former Mayor of New York, who is due to deliver the keynote address at the Convention says, "We have to make sure the focus is on the South, on Gustav, make sure that all of the resources are there, and that anything that is done with regard to the convention doesn't take anything away from that and is done in a serious way."

Barack Obama is also stepping up to the plate and offering to tap into his donors and volunteers to ask them to help the victims of the fast approaching storm. Those donations could include cash, goods and labor.

Obama tells reporters, "I think we can get tons of volunteers to travel down there if it becomes necessary. I think we can activate an e-mail list of a couple of million people who want to give back."

More evidence of both campaigns taking a break from their political opposition to each other and focusing on helping the portions of America in danger, on the Republican side, are the options of altering the convention to focus more on the oncoming storm, limiting events and speakers to reflect their awareness of the storm, shortening the convention, trimming back pep-rally type segments and focusing on more public service elements.

The Convention itself will not be totally canceled in order to allow the bare minimum to take the formal steps to make sure McCain is nominated and can get on the ballot legally.

On the Democratic side, they too are scaling down their planned events for the Republican Convention in St. Paul, such as canceling their "More of the Same" rally that had been scheduled for Monday night, with Democratic party spokesmen Brad Woodhouse saying "the tone of the Democratic rapid response effort would depend on the changes Republicans make in their convention program."

If you would like to know how you can help or you have a loved on in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana or Texas, go to the Red Cross page set up to tell the public what is needed and to the Louisiana's Governor's state website.