Yesterday when Senator McCain announced the RNC would be abbreviated, he asked us to "put on our American hat" and follow his commitment to "COUNTRY FIRST". Day one of the convention focused on this message as Cindy McCain and First Lady Laura Bush addressed the delegation. Laura Bush said, "events on the Gulf Coast region have changed the focus of our attention", speaking about the more somber start to the Republican Convention. The day was supposed to be highlighted by President Bush and Vice President Cheney, but Mrs. McCain and Mrs. Bush along with videos from the Governors of Gulf Coast states showed how people can get involved in service by introducing www.causegreater.com.
Cindy McCain said, "Although the task of helping the region recover from this disaster is too large for any one individual or organization, together we can accomplish so much to help those who have been affected." This call for people to help their fellow Americans as the McCain campaign has raised over $1.5 million for their charities in the Gulf Coast states.
Service went beyond the Xcel Center and into many of the dinners and parties of the night. After talking to a few people in the convention, there were many comments about how organizations would personally raise money for the efforts through cover charges and donations. The people here have expressed their concerns for fellow delegates and their neighbors at home.
Though today was abbreviated, we are expecting a full day tomorrow of regularly scheduled events. There will be updates all night long of what is to come tomorrow and the rest of the week here in St. Paul, Minnesota.