External events continue to dominate the Republican party convention after its opening day in St Paul, Minnesota. Outside the convention hall, police arrested around 130 protestors after a largely-peaceful anti-Iraq war demonstration turned violent.
Meanwhile, instead of making speeches, US Republican candidate John McCain helped pack relief supplies for the victims of Hurricane Gustav. McCain will accept the Republican nomination for the White House later this week. Republicans, mindful of a political backlash if they were seen celebrating as Gustav pounded Louisiana, scaled back their convention. President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney stepped aside as First Lady Laura Bush and John McCain’s wife Cindy called for help for those affected by Gustav.
And, delegates were putting on a brave face as their Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin confirmed her 17-year-old unmarried daughter, Bristol, is pregnant:
‘‘I mean she is having the child, which is good. She is getting married, that is better. And she is the daughter, not the candidate, or the nominee. So I think she is doing the right thing. Good for her.’‘
Asked to comment, Democratic nominee Barack Obama said the issue of Palin’s daughter’s pregnancy was off-limits:‘‘This should not be part of our politics. It has no relevance to Governor Palin’s performance as a governor or her potential performance as a vice-President. So I would strongly urge people to back off these kind of stories.’‘