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Republican Convention Back On Track After Abbreviated Opening

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The U.S. Republican Party is hoping to get its national convention in St. Paul, Minnesota back on schedule Tuesday after the opening sessions were scaled down in response to the hurricane situation on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Cindy McCain, the wife of pending presidential nominee John McCain, joined first lady Laura Bush in addressing delegates at Monday's abbreviated session, urging them to put aside partisanship and contribute to relief efforts.

Senator McCain himself appeared at an emergency relief center hundreds of kilometers away in Ohio.

President George Bush canceled his planned speech at the convention in order to oversee the federal response to Hurricane Gustav. News agencies say Mr. Bush will likely address the convention by satellite Tuesday.

Presidential Also-Rans to Address Delegates

Former New York Mayor Rudy Guiliani, who sought the Republican nomination this year, will deliver the keynote address at Tuesday's sessions.

Two other former Republican contenders, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and ex-Senator Fred Thompson of Tennessee, will also address the delegates.

Monday's proceedings were also overshadowed by revelations about McCain's running mate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. McCain's campaign revealed that Palin's 17-year-old unmarried daughter was expecting a baby.

Democratic Party presidential nominee Barack Obama said during a political event in Michigan that he believes "people's families are off limits, and people's children are especially off limits."

It was also revealed that Palin was hiring an attorney to defend herself in a legislative probe into possible official misconduct. A former Alaska public safety commissioner says he was dismissed by Palin after he refused to fire a state policeman who had divorced her sister.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters. - By VOA News

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