Many Republicans who originally planned to spend Monday in St. Paul with other Republican National Convention-goers were compelled to change their plans, thanks to Hurricane Gustav — including the GOP’s own presumptive presidential nominee, John McCain, who was busy over the weekend playing the anti-Bush when it came to disaster preparedness.

“The Caucus” in The New York Times:

On CBS, Mrs. Bush was asked about criticisms Mr. McCain has made about her husband’s management of the Katrina disaster. She said: “Well, there were lots of mistakes and they were on every level. They were local, they were statewide and there were certainly federal mistakes. But we learned from those and I hope that we’ll see and I think we will see, for one thing, many, many people have evacuated. Many more people have left than before in the other hurricane. But I think we’ll see that the coordination between the federal government, the state government and the local government will be much, much better.”

“It was a very important lesson,” she said.

Those lessons weren’t lost on the McCain campaign, which switched into emergency preparedness mode by turning some parts of the convention into relief and assistance efforts for any storm victims, alhough some parties went on last night as planned. The campaign sent about a dozen members of the Louisiana delegation home in a chartered jet and put together a Gulf States panel of Republicans from that region.

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