The Democrats in St. Paul say they will largely silence their "rapid response" effort the next couple of days while Hurricane Gustav bears down on the Gulf Coast. it is clear they don’t want to seem overly aggressive at a time when millions of Americans are facing a crisis.
Their silence will be in sharp contrast to constant barrage of political punches that came from the Republican war-room in Denver, where reporters were inundated every day with scores of e-mails making sure we didn’t miss one gaffe or one bit of tension between the Clinton and Obama camps.
In also stands in sharp contrast with the Democrats own plans for St. Paul. Like the Republicans, the Democrats and Obama campaign sent a response team to Minnesota to try to block whatever message was coming out of the Republican convention. They are set-up in a Union building just outside the convention perimeter, with posters strewn about the building of George W. Bush and John McCain in a warm embrace, with the slogan "More of the Same." "We’re gonna be here early morning, we’re gonna be here late at night," said Jamal Simmons, who is leading up the Democratic effort, in an interview before the scope of the Hurricane became clear, "We’re gonna be focused on Bush/McCain and how much they look alike."
Now plans for slogans and surrogates are on hold until after the storm passes.
The DNC canceled their opening reception in St. Paul, not wanting politics to overshadow concern about the hurricane.
"In light of the situation along the Gulf Coast, the DNC has canceled this afternoons Media Welcome reception in St. Paul. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families in the region.," DNC spokesman Damien LaVera said in a statement.
UPDATE #2: The DNC has also canceled a planned daily media briefing for Monday at the Republican national convention in Minnesota.
"In light of the situation in the Gulf Coast, the Democratic National Committee announced that is has canceled its daily media briefing at the More of the Same Media Center on Monday, September 1. Additional scheduling updates will be provided when available," read a media release from DNC spokesman Damien LaVera.