A Grand ‘Ole Party Done Quick and Dirty

By Samantha Hayes in St. Paul, Minnesota

On Friday, workers inside the convention hall St. Paul were blowing up thousands of red, white, and blue balloons, bundling them together in huge bunches, and hanging them from the rafters. They might still be there, hanging, at the end of the week.  The Republican convention will start today. John McCain will be officially nominated as the party’s candidate, and Sarah Palin as his running mate.  A grand ‘old party it will not be. Business as UNusual might be the better way to describe this soiree.

It’s about perception for the Republicans.  John McCain, speaking in St. Louis, Missouri Sunday said, “This is a time when we have to do away with our party politics and we have to act as Americans on behalf of our fellow citizens. It’s a time for action. So, we’re going to suspend most of our activities tomorrow except for those absolutely necessary.”  In other words, the gavel will come down, the convention will start, but expect this to be about as exciting as a city council meeting.  No music, no political rhetoric, and the scheduled speakers, included the President and Mrs. Bush, have canceled.  If the President does address the convention, it will be via satellite.  It’s interesting to note that without all the frills, convention business will take a little more than two hours today, starting at 3 p.m. and adjourning around 5:30.  Plans for the remainder of the week are yet to be determined.  But the party hats and noise makers will be staying in the closet.

Samantha Hayes is a national correspondent for CNN Newsource based in Washington, D.C. She contributes political stories to KSAT-12. You can learn more about her here.

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