Laura Bush and Cindy McCain opened the Republican National Convention yesterday in a joint address that encouraged attendees to donate in response to Hurricane Gustav. Said Cindy McCain, “This is a time when we take off our Republican hats and put on our American hats.”
Many Republicans feel that President Bush and Vice President Cheney’s absence from the RNC, where they were scheduled to speak Monday, may be a blessing. The current administration is often considered a “drag” on the party, McClatchy explains, and it may be in Ariz. Sen. John McCain’s best interest to establish his own brand of GOP politics.
Protests at the RNC began peacefully but turned violent yesterday. In the first hours of the Convention, anti-war protests were pacific. Subsequent protestors began throwing bottles, setting things on fire and lashing out against police. Police used tear gas to quell the uprising and made several arrests.