Campaign Confidential

RJC Fashion Show Goes On Amid Scaled Back GOP Convention

By Brett Lieberman

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With Hurricane/Tropical Storm Gustav barreling down on the Gulf Coast, Republican nominee-in-waiting John McCain said that convention-goers should take off their Republican hats and put on their American hats in an effort to avoid the perception that the GOP is having a party at the same time of a potential national disaster.

Much of today’s formal Twin Cities schedule at the Republican National Convention has been scrapped, but that doesn’t mean there’s no fun and games.

Parties and receptions will go on. The same goes for a planned Republican Jewish Coalition fashion show featuring guest of honor Hadassah Lieberman, who was scheduled to give remarks and not walk down the runway.

Her husband, Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman, the 2000 Democratic vice presidential nominee, was scheduled to speak Monday night at the convention. But his speech as well as those of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney were scrubbed because of the scaled back convention. Rick Davis, McCain’s campaign manager, said the campaign hoped to give all the speakers an opportunity to speak, but it was unclear when or if that will happen.

Even though the fashion show, including a silent auction and luncheon, organized by the RJC’s National Women’s Committee Event was to benefit the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, perceptions of a fashion show/fund-raiser going on was a bit too much for the sober image McCain and convention organizers were trying.

Perception and image being the most important thing these days in politics, the fashion show is going on. Yet we received notice Sunday night that it’s now closed to the media – meaning no photos or news reports.


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