September 2nd, 2008
08:14 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Convention full speed ahead

Cate Vojdik
AC360° Writer

The Republican National Convention is getting into full swing tonight, a day later than planned, thanks to Hurricane Gustav. The trick will be to fit all the planned speakers into the shortened timeframe. Among the GOP headliners we’ll hear from tonight: Sen. Joe Lieberman, former Sen. Fred Thompson, First Lady Laura Bush …and President Bush.

President Bush will make his comments live via remote from the White House. That’s about 1,000 miles from St. Paul in case you were wondering. Bush was supposed to give his speech live in St. Paul yesterday but backed out as Gustav hurtled toward the Gulf Coast. Today, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said it was a “mutual decision” that Bush would address the convention by remote instead of in person. A new national poll hints at what may have fueled that mutual decision. In the CNN/Opinion Research poll, only one in three Americans approve of the job Bush is doing. A quarter of those polled say Bush is the worst president in U.S. history, and six in ten have an unfavorable view of him personally. Ouch. And here’s what’s most troubling for the McCain campaign: A majority of those polled say that McCain’s policies would be the same as Bush’s, a number that has risen slightly since the Democratic convention ended.

The prevailing wisdom is that John McCain’s biggest task in St. Paul is to distance himself from Bush – and his policies. The big wild card is whether McCain’s surprising choice for a running mate will help or hurt him in this respect. McCain’s staffers spent much of the day responding to questions about how thoroughly Sarah Palin was vetted before she was tagged as veep. Their answer: very. But considering Palin’s pregnant teenage daughter and the so-called trooper-gate investigation that Palin’s facing back in her home state of Alaska, not everyone was swallowing that answer.

But back to the task at hand for the McCain campaign. The speakers you’ll hear tonight will talk about what makes him the right choice for president and why he’s his own man. They’ll talk about McCain the maverick, the former POW, the public servant. We’ll hear more about his adopted daughter, Bridget. It’s all part of the convention’s overarching theme: service above self. That’s the plan in broad brush strokes.

What do you think it will take to convince voters like those in the new CNN poll that McCain will chart a new and better course as president if elected? We’d love to hear from you. And stay with CNN for our special live coverage of the RNC in St. Paul.

Here’s tonight’s lineup:

Call to order
Rep. John Boehner
House GOP Leader
Permanent Convention Chair

Intro Colors
Rep. John Boehner
House GOP Leader
Permanent Convention Chair

Presentation of Colors
Red Lake VFW & American Legion Post 513 of New Brighton, MN and the current state color guard champions

Intro Anthem
Rep. John Boehner
House GOP Leader
Permanent Convention Chair

National Anthem
Philip Alongi, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Rev. Dr. Robert G. Certain
Chaplain Col. USAFR (Ret.), Roswell, GA

Posting of Colors

Request for silence in hall & tribute to the Memory of Deceased Party Leaders
Rep. John Boehner
House GOP Leader
Permanent Convention Chair

VIDEO: Tribute to deceased Republican Leaders and President Ford
Rep. John Boehner
House GOP Leader
Permanent Convention Chair

Music Interlude

SPEECH: GOP Leader of the US House of Representatives
Rep. John Boehner
House GOP Leader
Permanent Convention Chair

Announcement of the Official Photo
Rep. John Boehner
House GOP Leader
Permanent Convention Chair

Official Photo of the 2008 Republican National Conv.
Boehner, Presiding officers of the Convention on Podium or in Podium Boxes

VIDEO: Flag with sound

VIDEO: Country First: Service with Robert Duvall Voice Over

Introduction of speaker
Jo Anne Davidson
Co-Chairman, RNC and Chairman, Cmte on arrangements

SPEECH: Remarks by Host State US Senator
Sen. Norm Coleman (MN)

INTRO of Wave the Stars & Stripes Essay Contest Video

Victoria Blackstone
15 years old, winner of contest

Pledge of Allegiance
Victoria Blackstone
Roseville, MN

SPEAKER: “Character”
Miles McPherson
President, “Miles Ahead”
Sr. Pastor of the Rock Church in San Diego, CA

SPEAKER: “Putting Others First”
Ashley Gunn, Brandon, MS

Musical Interlude

Intro of Foster Parent

SPEECH: “Being a Foster Parent”
U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (MN)

SPEECH: “Bridget & Nikki’s Story”
Wes Gullett & Daughter Nikki, Phoenix, AZ.
(Speaker will acknowledge Mrs. McCain & daughter Bridget in VIP Box)

VIDEO: Teddy Roosevelt

Rachael Lampa

SPEECH: MN First Responders-1-35 Bridge Collapse
Captain Shanna Hanson
MN Fire Department

VIDEO: Abraham Lincoln

SPEECH: “God, Country & Family”
Tommy Espinoza
President/CEO Raza Development Fund, Inc.

VIDEO: President George HW Bush

Speech: Putting Others First”
Bill Gross, Cleveland, ND
(UPS pilot who donates his own plane in rural areas)

SPEECH: “Putting Others First”
Captain Leslie Smith, USA (ret.)
Tappahannock, VA

VIDEO: Medal of Honor Story
Michael Monsoor, Master at Arms Second Class, Sea, Air & Land US Navy SEAL
(Gary Sinese narrates film)

SPEAKER: Recognition of Audience Service
The Honorable Orson Swindle
Fmr. POW, Lt. Col., USMC (Ret.) & former Commissioner of the Fed. Trade Commission
(Recognition of Monsoor family; ask Medal of Honor Recipients, then POWS, then Veterans to stand)

SPEECH: Mrs. Laura Bush
First Lady of the United States

LIVE REMOTE: President George Bush

REMARKS: Mrs. Laura Bush

VIDEO: Ronald Reagan

SPEECH: “The Courage & Service of John McCain”
Former US Senator Fred Thompson

SPEECH: “The Original Maverick: John McCain”
US Senator Joe Lieberman (CT)

Introduction of Chairman Duncan

Introduction of Benediction
Robert M. “Mike” Duncan
RNC Chairman

Rabbi Ira M. Flax
Lt. Col. USAF (Ret.), Birmingham, AL

Introduction of Delegate for Motion
Chairman Duncan

Motion to Adjourn
Floor: South Carolina

Adoption & Adjournment
Chairman Duncan

soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Fairer

    I'm curious: Where are VP Dick Cheney, General Schwarzkopf, General Powell, and Secretary of State Rice, respectively? Have they distanced themselves from the party? Why aren't they mentioned at the RNC?

    September 2, 2008 at 11:10 pm |
  2. Lana Frazier

    Good coverage. Electrifying speeches by Thompson and Lieberman. What is this new buzz word "red meat" that the reporters are using?

    September 2, 2008 at 11:06 pm |
  3. Denise

    I have been watching the RNC – it is amazing how many fairy tales have been spun. Fred Thompson spoke many untruths – speaking about John McCain as a man of principle – the only principleJohn McCain lives by is follow the leader. And Joe Lieberman should not consider himself a Democrat – he should consider himself a Republican Insider.

    September 2, 2008 at 11:05 pm |
  4. Brenda Harris

    One thing about all those molded mildewed men that spoke tonight is that they will probably be dead in 8 years. That's why they sound so desperate tonight.

    September 2, 2008 at 11:03 pm |
  5. Tracey - Boston


    Thanks for the schedule. I got home late from dinner and drinks and was wondering what I missed. I have to say I don't like the blue-green background for Leiberman. I'm already feeling woozy.......

    September 2, 2008 at 10:48 pm |
  6. Tatyana Gudge

    I am a young independent. I must say, I tried my best not to "drink the kool-aid" during the DNC but in the end it was more a fight not to drink too much. In contrast, i'm having a hard time even staying awake during the RNC (so far).

    September 2, 2008 at 10:31 pm |
  7. Clarence Prince

    Jonh McCain is following the typical George Bush leadership style, putting the wrong people in key positions, Rove, Brown, Gonzalaze, Myer. Typical Republican style.

    September 2, 2008 at 9:20 pm |
  8. Julie Roads

    There is nothing they can do...this fight is lost. I wish they would just go home. Sarah Palin was a disastrous choice. It is both embarrassing and insulting that they think American women would vote Republican because she is a woman. She is anti-woman and anti-environment.

    September 2, 2008 at 9:10 pm |
  9. Shellie

    Okay Anderson....are you SUPERMAN...how could you been in a Hurricane for the past few days day and night and now sitting there all pretty with a nice suit talking politics???? You are awesome! I didn't watch the hurricane coverage until I knew you were there!

    September 2, 2008 at 9:08 pm |
  10. Patty

    i am curious why Sen Obama was not questioned on his "facts" comparing his current campaign figures and "experience" to Govenor Palin's current job, vs her former job as mayor.

    September 2, 2008 at 8:25 pm |