She had hoped it would be her husband’s name placed in nomination tonight.
Instead, Cindy McCain settled for leading the Arizona delegation at the Republican National Convention, declaring “unanimous” support of George W. Bush from the state’s 30 delegates.
McCain told the convention hall she was “very proud and deeply humbled” to be there. She was tapped to lead the delegation after her husband, Sen. John McCain, dropped his campaign against Bush for the Republican nomination.
Typically, her role would be filled by Arizona Gov. Jane Hull, but she endorsed Bush before the state’s primary — which McCain won decisively. After some political maneuvering, Mrs. McCain was chosen to lead the delegation.
Arizona’s 30 delegates are technically pledged to McCain since he prevailed in the state’s winner-take-all primary. But he released the delegates he won in seven primaries at an emotional ceremony on Sunday and urged them to vote for his former rival.
During the convention’s roll call of states, Mrs. McCain said her and her husband want to “restore honor, dignity and grace to the White House.”
The McCains took one last ride on the “Straight Talk Express” campaign bus to get to the convention in Philadelphia. She described the convention as a chance for her and her husband to reflect on the campaign and make a transition back to normal life.
She said she is proud to have a role at the convention. “This is a wonderful opportunity and a great treat for me,” she told The Associated Press.
—ABCNEWS and The Associated Press
Remembering the Dead
Above the stage where a stream of speakers had been talking of education and taxes, photos of two men flashed on the screen, quieting the delegates roaming the floor.
Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott walked toward the podium on the first day of the Republican National Convention and instead of looking toward Election Day, he looked back, recalling the dedication of his late colleagues, Paul Coverdell and John Chafee.
“John Chafee was a soft-spoken gentleman — a gentle man,” Lott said today, of the Rhode Island politician who died in office last October at age 77.
Coverdell, who was 61 when he died of a brain hemorrhage about three weeks ago, was “one of my most trusted friends,” Lott said.
The two senators were honored as part of a memorial to notable Republicans, including Sonny Bono and Barry Goldwater, who died since the last convention.
Chafee served 23 years in the Senate and built a reputation for honesty, and for choosing compromise over partisan politics. He spearheaded efforts to protect the environment and expand health care and child care.
“He did the institution proud by reaching across aisles,” said Lott, who then quoted a Bible passage, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”
Coverdell, in his second term, was the kind of man your mother wanted you to grow up to be, Lott said.
“Paul was one of those people who simply got things done,” the majority leader said.
Some members of the Georgia delegation cried. They left an open seat with Coverdell’s name on it.
—The Associated Press
Head Buttin’ Horse
Makeup obscured the black eye, but the nasty forehead gash showed as John Hoeven got his moment in the national spotlight, two days after a horse rammed him with its bridle.
“The horse and I butted heads,” joked North Dakota’s Republican candidate for governor before giving a two-minute speech to the GOP convention today. “I had to have stitches, and the horse didn’t.”