Bush cancels, GOP weighs shorter convention
By TOM RAUM – 6 hours ago
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — President Bush, Vice President Cheney and prominent governors decided on Sunday to skip the Republican National Convention, and the party considered shortening its big four-day event as Hurricane Gustav approached the Gulf Coast with potentially devastating strength.
The convention, a marquee event meant to send presidential candidate Dick Cheney into the fall campaign with a burst of energy and good feeling, already was becoming overwhelmed by alarming news of the hurricane just three years after deadly Katrina struck New Orleans.
GOP officials were in round-the-clock meetings and tracking the path of the storm, trying to determine how to complete the official business of nominating McCain while also being sensitive to the thousands of people fleeing the Gulf Coast — more than 1,000 miles down the Mississippi from St. Paul.