GOP Convention Keeps Watchful Eye On Hurricane

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — President Bush won’t be addressing the Republican convention Monday evening, but his better half will. And so will her would-be successor as first lady.

Party officials say Laura Bush and Cindy McCain will make remarks “directed toward the storm and where to send donations” as the GOP scrambles to turn the first day of its national convention into a fundraising drive for victims of Hurricane Gustav.

The president scrapped his plans to speak to delegates and instead will be in Texas, where preparations for disaster assistance are under way.

John McCain, meanwhile, was at a disaster relief center in Waterville, Ohio, where he helped pack cleaning supplies and other items into plastic buckets that will be sent to the Gulf Coast area.

Officials say they still expect McCain will address the convention at Thursday night’s finale.