The Republicans: Staying the course

The Republican convention, though battered, goes ahead

IT HAS been a rocky week for the Republican Party, as its convention gets under way in St Paul, Minnesota. After the focus on the Democrats last week, John McCain snatched back attention at the weekend with his choice of Sarah Palin, the young governor of Alaska, as his running mate. But little since that announcement has gone according to plan.

The first difficulty was Hurricane Gustav which crossed the Gulf of Mexico before hitting Louisiana on Monday September 1st. The storm provoked memories of Katrina, the hurricane which drowned New Orleans in 2005 and whose aftermath was mishandled by George Bush’s administration. Nearly 2m people left their homes in Louisiana this week, fleeing the storm. And as a result of the upheaval, Mr Bush and his vice-president, Dick Cheney, decided to stay away from the Republican convention, scrapping planned speeches. Mr McCain was no doubt relieved: the less he is associated with the deeply unpopular incumbent, the happier he will be. ...


[Source: The Economist: News analysis

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