Gustav and the RNC
President George W. Bush is saying that the emergency response to Hurricane Gustav is far better than the response to Katrina in 2005. The president canceled his plans to attend the Republican National Convention today in order to fly to Texas and oversee emergency response efforts to Gustav.
The Republicans also canceled their prime-time programming for the convention’s opening night, and most daytime activities. It’s unclear how else Gustav may effect the Republican convention.
Sen. John McCain told Fox News, according to the Politico, “It just wouldn’t be appropriate to have a festive occasion while a near-tragedy or a terrible challenge is presented in the form of a natural disaster. So we’re monitoring it from day to day — and I’m saying a few prayers, too.”
New Orleans is nearly deserted. Mayor Ray Nagin ordered a mandatory evacuation of the city, and about 95 percent of the population left. Gustav has now been downgraded to a Category 2 storm, bringing some amount of relief to Louisiana residents, especially since weather analysts were reporting over the weekend that the hurricane could be worse than Katrina.
New Orleans residents are still coping with the aftermath of Katrina, three years later. The thought of another disaster washing away the work that went into rebuilding there seems just too much to bear.