Republicans are agonizing over how to conduct a convention while the gulf coast is being devastated by a Katrina redux hurricane.
If the convention goes on as planned, Democrats will start yelling "See! they are ignoring your suffering AGAIN!" On the other hand, if the convention is shortened or downsized, the GOP will loose it's biggest marketing event. It looks like either way, Republicans are screwed.
Or maybe not.
There is one amazingly bold thing Sen. McCain could do that would neutralize the hurricane as a political issue, reinforce his image for putting the country ahead of politics and totally [expletive deleted] the Democrats at the same time.
The first night of the convention, Sen. McCain could announce "The American people need help more than they need campaign commercials, therefore I am donating my entire campaign fund to hurricane relief."
I know this sounds insane, but look at the numbers. At the end of July, Sen. McCain had $32.7 million cash on hand, Obama had $68.5 million, while the RNC had $75 million and the DNC $29 million.
If Sen. McCain donated all $32.7 million, Sen. Obama would be forced to either 1) jump in and say "me too!" and cough up his $68.5 million and look like he was pandering following McCain's leadership, or 2) not write the check and have the entire country turn away in disgust.
With both campaign accounts empty, after the convention Sen. McCain will still receive an $84 million check in federal campaign funds plus the $75 million in RNC cash on hand that gives him a war chest of $159 million to last the next two months. Sen. Obama would only have $29 million in DNC cash and no matching funds since he opted out of federal financing.
Imagine the positive press coverage and goodwill (i.e. votes) McCain would buy, while crippling the Democrats financially.
I think I like it!