[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."]
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.
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