Cast of Characters
Laura Bush and Cindy McCain Give La. Delegation Moral Support
By Ed O'Keefe
MINNEAPOLIS -- First Lady Laura Bush and Cindy McCain met with members of the Louisiana delegation to the Republican National Convention Monday morning, expressing concern and support for the state's residents as Hurricane Gustav came ashore.
"We do stand together with you, particularly from the state of Arizona," McCain said, referring to her four children -- Meghan, Jack, Jimmy and Bridget -- who attended the meeting with her.
The entire Republican Party was concerned for the Gulf Coast states affected by the storm, said the First Lady. "I know you are the ones who are most worried, who are looking back home, who are just hoping against hope that the damage won't be that much," Bush said.
Both McCain and Bush slipped political comments into their remarks, however, as perhaps the only party members granted a pass on a day when the GOP hopes to avoid political rhetoric.
"Someone said the other day that, 'How can he talk about his POW experience all the time?'" McCain said of her husband. "It is his experience as a POW, as a Naval officer, as a man, as a father, as a representative to the United States Congress and as a senator that makes him. It's what makes him tick. It's made him who he is. It's because of all of that and all of his life experiences he will make the finest president you will ever have."
Laura Bush shared some of what she would have said tonight had the convention continued as scheduled. She cited Mrs. McCain's recent humanitarian trips to Vietnam, Georgia, Kosovo and Rwanda.
"This is what Cindy McCain has done in the last four or five months while she's campaigned for her husband for president," said Bush, "so you can imagine what she'll do in four years as first lady."
Both women also expressed excitement about the choice of Sarah Palin as McCain's running mate, with Bush seeming especially pleased.
"I'm so happy, because I'm actually going to have the chance to vote for a Republican woman this time," she said, thrusting her arm in the air to loud cheers.
"Every woman in the room knows that she is really a superwoman, to be mother of five and a governor. The other experience that I think she brings is that she was a mayor. When you're a mayor, your constituents live next door. They're not kind of a long way away, you don't get out of touch, like they always act like the president does. Although I don't think President Bush is out of touch."
The party was joined by members of the Davis Family of Walker, La., who flew out of Louisiana last night aboard a DC-9 aircraft chartered by the McCain campaign to fly delegates back to the Gulf States to claim family and possessions and return if they wished.
Vickie Davis is a party delegate and her husband, Rhett Davis, is a state party consultant. He flew back on the plane last night and returned with his three sons, daughter and mother-in-law, arriving back in Minneapolis at 1 a.m. Monday. The family gave McCain a thank you card for the campaign's efforts.
Posted at 12:58 PM ET on Sep 1, 2008
Cast of Characters
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