September 2nd, 2008
12:19 PM ET

Hurricane Gustav Sparks Anxiety for Young Republicans

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/02/art.rnc.prayer.jpg caption="Delegation members in prayer at the Republican National Convention 2008 in St. Paul, Minnesota, Monday. The political jamboree's opening day turned into a Hurricane Gustav fundraising effort."]

Katie Glueck
CosmoGirl Election Correspondent

On Friday, I left the world of media and politics with a sense of anticipation. People were energized about Senator McCain's VP pick and the Republican National Convention promised to be just as exciting as its Democratic counterpart in Denver.

But things in this business sure change fast. The atmosphere in Minnesota yesterday was, for the most part, anxious and pessimistic.

Hurricane Gustav has folks up here wondering if there's even going to be a convention. The younger crowd is still out partying, but with a sort of "be-merry-now-because-who-knows-what-tomorrow-will-bring" attitude. As one delegate told me, "We want to have fun now because if people are dying, the celebration is obviously over."

Even if the hurricane isn't as huge a disaster as people are predicting (let's hope!), it's still a major story. And as a campaign volunteer said, this convention has been the focal point of his life for the past six months. He's worried that his hard work is going to be overlooked. He and his friends aren't in it for the personal recognition, he told me. But they don't want the country to forget that there are two candidates running for President.

I see where he's coming from. After investing so much in this campaign and then watching the endless coverage of the DNC, the Republicans understandably want some attention, too. But with an impending natural disaster and millions of lives at risk, it's hard for the media to cover it all. And for those politicians who have gone to Louisiana instead of coming here (the President, for example), duty calls. What a terrible situation for all involved.

Still, not everyone has lost hope, both for the future of the convention and for that of Louisiana. It's the RNC, after all, so even at loud parties, people will talk party politics. Last night, a crowd of twenty-somethings spent a good fifteen minutes analyzing the situation
in Louisiana, comparing readiness now to readiness before Katrina. Their conclusion? That Governor Bobby Jindal was an able manager, that solid contingency plans were already in place, and that, since it's an election year, no one (on either side of the political spectrum) can afford to let another Katrina happen.

Sounds a little heartless, but then again, politics is never nice. I only hope that, whatever their motives, politicians don't let Gustav become Katrina.

The cynicism among both the Republicans here and the citizens of Louisiana is bitter. But for From the perspective of a young female journalist, this is the perfect election. It's got youth energy, women's empowerment and rock stars.

Editor's Note: Katie Glueck, 18, is CosmoGirl magazine's 2008 Election Correspondent.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Republicans • youth vote
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Steven

    It seems that since the levees didn't break in New Orleans, the Main Stream Media is very disappointed and have moved on to another story. The lack of coverage is astonishing. Absolutely no pictures or reports that show the damage to Baton Rouge and South Louisiana. So we are led to believe it is not that bad. I guess when you have people who take care of themselves and don't wait for the government the liberal media has nothing to talk about!

    September 3, 2008 at 11:28 am |
  2. mark hoffman, Phoenix AZ.

    Where's Pat Robertson's pronouncement on who's sinful behavior is responsible for Gustav?

    September 2, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  3. Mike


    Could you please tell us all why you think the people of New Orleans are stupid? I'd really like to understand how you came to this conclusion. Is everyone who is negatively affected by the weather stupid?

    September 2, 2008 at 1:52 pm |
  4. Eagle

    I think the people of New Orleans need to start paying a new tax. This should be called the stupid tax and the monies should be used for all hurricane expenses. Why should the rest of the US citizens pay for their stupidity?

    September 2, 2008 at 1:34 pm |
  5. nerakami, Miami

    Sorry young fella... but you need to deal with Universal powers on this one. Seems like there's a strong message to the GOP, like global warming is real.. or oil drilling cannot be our only course of action...

    Maybe you should have a word with that Dobson guy as well... praying for torrential rains on Obama's historic night. You see, there is such a thing as the Law of Karma that states.... the seeds that you plant... so shall you reap.

    Seems fair to me.

    September 2, 2008 at 1:17 pm |
  6. Mike

    I think the Republican leadership were actually hoping that Gustav would be a bigger story than it turned out to be. Thankfully, the people of New Orleans seemed to have dodged a bullet. I love how the McCain campaign wanted to "put politics aside", but then as the storm is beginning to slam NO they decided to break a little story about Sarah Palin and her pregnant teenage daughter. Surely, they weren't trying to take advantage of the situation in the hopes that the Palin story would just get buried by another disaster on the Gulf Coast. Give me a break. Politics as usual. MORE OF THE SAME!

    September 2, 2008 at 1:09 pm |
  7. tom

    i remember a story a month or so back where some evanglecals where asking folks to pray for rain in denver. on obomas big night. its just a little ironic that the republican connvension gets delayed by a hurricane.

    September 2, 2008 at 1:00 pm |
  8. Jes S.C.

    The Republican convention is a gathering of the elite and not the middle class. Look at the faces of attendance, and no it does not represent the American population as what was in attendance at the Democratic Convention and the lie is they have my interest at heart and the American People. Another lie distorted by the media in support of the RNC.

    September 2, 2008 at 12:36 pm |
  9. David W, Florida

    I think it's just great that there are so many young citizens who are energized about making a difference.

    The key is to gather as many facts as possible (this can be tough in our crazed media age), come to your own conclusions based on what make sense to you not your parents or college mates, and get out there and vote.

    September 2, 2008 at 12:34 pm |
  10. Cindy

    Seeing that Gustav didn't do the damage that was expected I think that the Republicans will get their convention off to a start tonight and get everyone riled up again in the coming days. They had to basically do nothing yesterday because no one knew what disaster would happen. Thankfully nothing did so now it's on with the show.


    September 2, 2008 at 12:33 pm |