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Election 2000
Republican National Convention Click below for special feature pages
Scott Simon's Convention Notebook
Philadelphia Postcards:
Wish You Were Here...
The Cheese Steak
Speaking Philadelphian
Victor Café
Independence Hall
Featured Speakers:
Colin Powell, Laura Bush, Elizabeth Dole, John McCain and others share their visions for the Republican Party.
The Shadow Convention:
Outside the GOP Convention Halls
GOP Links:
Republican National Convention 2000
www.gopconvention.com

Republican National Committee
www.gop.org

Democratic Reaction
Democratic National Convention 2000
www.dems2000.com

Democratic National Committee
www.democrats.org


Republican Convention
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 Pennsylvania.

The Texas governor delivers his acceptance speech to the GOP gathering on Thursday.

audio button Listen as NPR's Mara Liasson wraps up day one of the GOP convention for Morning Edition.

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 Texas.

"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."

audio buttonHear 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 Democrats.

Still, of the 2,066 Republican delegates, 83 percent are estimated to be white, while 61 percent are male. audio button 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 young students.

"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 homeplate."

audio button 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 audio button 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 Morning Edition.

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 audio button 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 Edition.

Convention History
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 Brandaudio button speaks with NPR political editor Ken Rudin about three political conventions from the past where crucial and unpredictable decisions were made.

Your Turn
What are your thoughts on the conventions, the candidates, and the campaigns? Check out our discussion area.


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