The Note: The Politics of Gustav

"Despite the absence of two key members of their target audience -- President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney -- the march will go on, protest organizer Jess Sundin said at a news conference Sunday," per Mara H. Gottfried and Bob Shaw of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "She predicted 50,000 protesters from 125 local and national groups would march to protest the war in Iraq."

The parties, too, are on (mostly, and now it's cool to give money to charity in addition to giving booze to delegates): "Unlike tonight's session, Republican officials did not pull the plug on the hundreds of receptions, parties and concerts planned here during convention week -- to the relief of Twin Cities' caterers, entertainers and others hungry for a slice of RNC business," Tom Webb writes in the Pioneer Press. "But Sen. John McCain's campaign manager, Rick Davis, on Sunday urged the party crowd to 'be respectful of the situation that exists in the Gulf.' That was widely interpreted to mean: Wild and crazy is out. Dignified and concerned is in."

"At a Landmark Center reception for Arizona and Minnesota delegates Sunday afternoon, pink fliers on the tables at St. Paul's Landmark Center urged partygoers to donate to the Red Cross. By the end of the event, a bowl near the entrance held a mix of ones, fives and twenties," Jeff Shelman writes in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "When members of the Ohio delegation got on paddleboats for a Mississippi River cruise, they received pledge cards. Pledges are to be matched by corporate sponsors."

"The trade association for the U.S. liquor industry renamed its 'the Spirits of Minneapolis' party set for tonight to 'the Spirits of the Gulf Coast' " -- and they're asking guests to make donations to the American Red Cross, per Bloomberg's Christopher Stern and Edwin Chen. "Another party, the 'New Orleans All-Star Jam-Balaya' is scheduled for tonight. Among its sponsors are the National Homebuilders Association, Property Casualty Insurers and Fannie Mae."

Because of Gustav: "No open bar."

Ron Paul still has his schedule intact, but the delegates are behind McCain. "Mr. McCain enters this year's convention with the enthusiastic support of nearly 9 in 10 delegates, according to a poll of Republican delegates by The New York Times and CBS News," Jackie Calmes and Meghan Thee write in the Times. "The delegates' unanimity comes in spite of their description of themselves as more conservative than Mr. McCain, whose maverick image has long made him controversial in his party."

Enough to get this crowd buzzed: "A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll released Sunday night shows the Obama-Biden ticket leading the McCain-Palin ticket by one point, 49 percent to 48 percent, with the statistical margin of error." (Does Newton's third law apply to politics?)

One liberal group plays on Katrina: From the Campaign for America's future, an ad geared toward delegates who are hanging out in their hotel rooms in St. Paul (it's running on some national cable channels -- and as a national hotel cable buy). "To the conservatives gathered in St. Paul . . . Thanks for the memories," the ad says, with images of Katrina washing across the screen. "We'll take it from here."

(Nothing like a liberal group's ad campaign to get the faithful rallied . . . )

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