As you've probably heard, today is a wash for the RNC, with the schedule amended "to only conduct the official business of the convention." Even without the split infinitive, this would be a problem for the convention news, and it feels a little like a Scoop knockoff to be canvassing the delegates for reactions. Although the folks gathered in the Twin Cities may be secretly relieved that President Bush isn't showing, they kept up a good face, furrowing brows for the fate of New Orleans.
Only one person suggested the media were blowing Gustav out of proportion to jinx the GOP — which, given the apparent pooping out of the storm, seems as plausible a reading as any. All of the 15 or 20 delegates I spoke with were confident that their prayers for a less lethal storm had been answered, and one guy from Louisiana said "Absolutely" when I asked if he thought God was actually paying attention.
Interestingly, that puts them in agreement with Michael Moore, who has gotten a lot of flak recently for suggesting that God sent Gustav toward the Big Easy in order to punish the Republicans.
While the delegates tended to put a high-minded spin on the bad news ("We have to hold back because we're just all praying that the people down there will be OK," was a characteristic reaction), it's worth noting that it wouldn't make a damn bit of difference to people in Louisiana if the Republicans had decided to let les bons temps rouler. Only one guy I talked to was willing to put the thing into strict horse-race terms. "Everything was going our way," he said, "then all of a sudden here comes a hurricane… It's just bad luck. Sometimes you get unlucky, and we got unlucky."
Hoping for better luck today….