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Wish You Were Here...
The Cheese Steak
Reaches for Diversity
Philadelphia, August 1, 2000 -- At their national convention,
Republicans are trying to project themselves as belonging to a party that is more inclusive than it has appeared in the past.
Last night was an evening designed to sell the GOP as a different kind of
party: more optimistic and more inclusive. To that end, retired General
Colin Powell praised the party, but then sternly warned Republicans that
they cannot ignore the reasons why fewer blacks have embraced the party.
Laura Bush, wife of candidate George W. Bush, also addressed the convention
as her husband watched from a suburban high school near Columbus, Ohio. He
is on a pre-convention tour that today moves into West Virginia and
The Texas governor delivers his acceptance speech to the GOP
gathering on Thursday.
Listen as NPR's Mara Liasson wraps up day one of the GOP convention for
Tonight, the convention turns to issues of national security, with retired General Norman Schwarzkopf and Senator John McCain -- a one-time rival to Bush for the GOP nomination -- as featured speakers. Former Senate Republican leader Bob Dole and his wife Elizabeth, a former Cabinet secretary who tried and failed to win the 2000 nomination, will also speak.
Powell Praises Bush's Texas Record
Buoyant Republicans cheered retired Gen. Colin Powell as he praised Bush for
raising education standards and addressing the concerns of minorities in
"Some call it compassionate conservatism," said Powell, echoing one of
Bush's own campaign mantras. "To me it's just caring about people."
Powell, an African American,
predicted that if Bush were elected to the White House, he would "help
bridge our racial divides."
But the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff also cautioned the GOP
for spurning affirmative action in education and the party's frequent lack
of understanding about the plight of African Americans. At the same time, he
noted, many Republicans ignore "affirmative action for lobbyists who load
our federal tax codes with preferences for special interests."
Hear Powell's full speech from the opening night of the
Republican National Convention.
Powell's address finished off a day when many women and blacks, Latinos --
and even former Democrats -- were given a high profile at the convention as
the party attempts to reach out to voters who have traditionally voted for
Still, of the 2,066 Republican delegates, 83 percent are estimated to be
white, while 61 percent are male.
Listen as Morning Edition host Madeleine Brand speaks with some
delegates who bring diversity to the convention.
When the Texas governor's wife, Laura
Bush, took to the podium, she spoke about her marriage, her children and
her husband's determination to improve education and reading standards for
"George is a leader who inspires the best in others and will bring out the
best in our nation," said the first lady of Texas. "He never loses sight of
Hear Laura Bush's full speech.
Outside the Convention Hall
While the first full day of the GOP convention saw lots of speeches in the
convention hall, there were quite a few outside as well.
Thousands of protesters wound their way along city streets to the convention site. Few arrests were made and city police say they will accommodate the protesters as long as they remain non-violent.
The protesters called attention to poverty and homelessness, issues they say are being ignored
by the political campaigns in the midst of a strong national economy. Hear
more about the ongoing demonstrations as NPR's Eric Westervelt reports for
Democrats Have Their Say
Democrats today are unveiling the fourth in a series of television ads
they're running this week attacking the records of George W. Bush and his
running mate, former defense secretary Dick Cheney. Democrats say
the ads are a way to make sure Republican claims made at the convention do
not go unchallenged. Listen as NPR's Pam Fessler reports for Morning
While day one of the Republican National Convention went off as planned,
there was a time when it was hard to predict what would happen inside a
convention hall. Listen as Morning Edition host Madeleine Brand
speaks with NPR political editor Ken Rudin about three political conventions from the past where crucial and unpredictable decisions were made.
What are your thoughts on the conventions, the candidates, and the campaigns? Check out our discussion area.