Speaking now at the Republican National Convention, Laura Bush explained why President George Bush couldn’t make it.
“Our first priority now today is to ensure the security of those living today in the Gulf Coast region,” said Bush, who added, “When such events occur we are reminded that first we are all Americans.”
Dressed in white, she introduced the governors of the Gulf states, who, she noted, are all Republicans.
Governor Rick Perry of Texas appeared in front of a revving Air Force plane.
“We’re taking care of the citizens. That’s what we do,” he said.
Bob Riley, governor of Alabama, said he wanted to personally “thank President Bush for his leadership.”
Florida Governor Charlie Crist appeared like a weather news correspondent in steady winds.
And then Governor Haley Barbour of Mississippi said that the federal government has been a great partner and “no doubt will be a great partner in the aftermath.” He was also the first person to say the word “Katrina.”
After the videos, Cindy McCain came out in black high heels and a high-collared yellow dress and, with Bush beside her, pitched relief fund Web sites. Everyone applauded.