Gustav & the GOP

Behind The News
September 1, 2008 12:58:43 PM PDT
So much for a lack of news at the end of summer. A hurricane blasting the Gulf of Mexico, and a Republican Convention that is dramatically scaled back, but that has controversy anyway.

First - Hurricane Gustav. It wasn't as bad as people had feared, and good for the folks down South for learning their lessons from Katrina and getting out of town. A two-million-person evacuation. And it was smart planning. The Category Two storm has not, so far, caused the amount of damage many had worried about - and that's the good news.

We have two reporters in the storm's track, covering the Hurricane and the aftermath - Jim Dolan and N.J. Burkett. They'll be there for us, tonight at 11.

We're also in St. Paul for the scaled back convention. Some experts say the Republicans have been "victimized" by Gustav, but I take a different approach.

I think the Republicans have taken advantage of the storm in several ways. First, their convention figured not to have the drama and pathos of the Democratic Party confab last week. Second, the storm gives both John McCain and his newly selected running mate Sarah Palin a chance to sound commanding - especially Palin, who is now embroiled in something of a controversy involving the pregnancy of her underage and unmarried daughter.

Third, Pres. Bush isn't going to speak to the convention - and that solves a rather sticky dilemma for the party. There are many who would like Mr. Bush and his Vice President to stay as far away from the convention as possible - and now they'll get their wish.

We have three reporters at the gathering - the largest contingent of any local over-the-air news team in New York.

I hope you can join us, tonight at 11.