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Republicans Say They're 'Ready for Victory'

Live Webcast: 8pm ET/5pm PT for NPR News coverage.

July 31, 2000 -- Republicans began their four-day national convention today with hopes for a well-orchestrated event leading to an overwhelming nomination of Texas Gov. George Bush as their presidential candidate.

After opening the convention Monday morning with a slam of the gavel, Jim Nicholson, chairman of Republican National Committee, assured delegates that the GOP is poised for victory in November. "We have never been more united, more enthused, more excited about our prospects this fall than I can ever remember."

Still, the convention, meeting at the First Union Center in South Philadelphia, remained only half filled as convention goers spend ample time touring the city and attending a flurry of events and receptions.

The numbers are expected to swell to full capacity tonight for speeches by Republican marquee names that include the wife of the Texas governor, Laura Bush, and retired Gen. Colin Powell. Both will be speaking about education reform and their appearance is hoped to bolster support among Republican moderates, women and minorities.

Listen as Morning Edition host Madeleine Brand talks audio button to NPR's Cokie Roberts about the political events expected this week.

Sometime this afternoon, Bush's name will be placed in nomination, but the candidate himself is not expected in the convention hall until Thursday evening when he delivers his much anticipated acceptance speech.

Protesters Take to the Streets
This past weekend witnessed a number of peaceful marches and protests, but a number of arrests of demonstrators were made near City Hall on Monday morning who had blocked traffic. The protesters said they wanted to bring attention to the Army's School of the Americas at Ft. Benning, Ga. The base is a center that offers combat training to military personnel from Latin American countries.

audio buttonHear NPR's Peter Kenyon report from Philadelphia on Monday's opening of the Republican convention for Morning Edition.

Bush Campaign Tour
Over the past few days, the Texas governor has been making a bus tour through swing states on his way to Philadelphia. "We're on our way to Philadelphia and we're on our way to victory!" Bush told an Ohio rally Sunday.

Today Bush will attend rallies in Dayton and Columbus and he appears via satellite at the convention tonight. audio buttonListen as NPR's Don Gonyea reports from Cincinnati for Morning Edition on the bus campaign tour and enthusiastic Ohio crowds that are greeting the Texas governor.

Philadelphia Tour
Morning Edition host Madeleine Brand tours Philadelphia with 16-year old Elise Beattie, who's lived in the city her whole life. audio button Listen as they start out downtown, which, Elise points out, has been cleaned up and dressed up for the Republican Convention.

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