WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

Analysis: Isaac's RNC Impacts, Role Of Virginia Republicans At Convention

Play associated audio

Tropical Storm Isaac, which is expected to become Hurricane Isaac before landfall along the Gulf Coast, has prompting last-minute changes at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. The GOP has cancelled speeches scheduled for tonight and is reworking the schedule for the rest of the week. But two high-profile speakers from Virginia are still on the agenda. David Hawkings, editor of the CQ Roll Call Daily Briefing, talks with WAMU Morning Edition Host Matt McCleskey about what to expect at the 

On the tone in Tampa as Isaac approaches land: "The tone is soggy and a little bit disappointed. People are ready to start convening today; they're a little disappointed that things were called off," she says. "They're glad that things aren't going to be bad here, but very worried … that once the storm actually makes landfall elsewhere in the Gulf Coast, that will become the story and it'll still mess up the Republicans convention plans not directly by ruining the logistics but by creating a much bigger story elsewhere in the country."

What to expect from Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's speech Tuesday: "I'm expecting Governor McDonnell to make a full-throated defense or promotion of his own stewardship as governor, and of the state's economy, where the unemployment is down below 6 percent — much better than the national average," he says. "The theme of the night is essentially a riff on President Obama's 'you didn't build that' comment, essentially Republicans have seized on that all summer, making it the lynchpin of their discussion that obama has been a bad steward of the economy."

On the role of former Alabama Rep. Artur Davis's, who ran for Alabama governor as a Democrat but has since switched parties and moved to Virginia: "He actually gets an even more prominent speaking role … than Gov. McDonnell. Artur Davis now becomes, next to Condoleezza Rice, the most prominent African-American person who will be speaking at the convention," Hawkings says. "His role will be a traditional role of advocating in favor of Mitt Romney as an alternative to  President Obama; he will almost certainly say that he was wrong when he previously endorsed Obama enthusiastically for the 2008 nomination." 

On Davis's own political agenda: "All these speeches are not only to promote the candidate, the ticket, the agenda, but also to promote yourself," Hawkings says. "Artur Davis can talk about his own decision to move out of the south and into Virginia where he is widely expected to run for office, probably for a Northern Virginia seat against Rep. Gerry Connolly (D) in two years. 

On the Virginia district that Davis has his eye on, which was formerly held by a Republican Rep. Tom Davis: "It's one of the swing districts left in our part of the country, and it's probably the most swing district left in our area," Hawkings says. "Artur Davis sent pretty good signals that he wants to restart his political career. He lost a very bitter Democratic primary for governor and now he wants to restart his political career as a Republican."

NPR

'Daisy Is An Animal': Jennifer Jason Leigh On Her Comeback In 'The Hateful Eight'

Actress Jennifer Jason Leigh is back in the spotlight with an Oscar nomination for her role as a murderous woman in the movie The Hateful Eight. NPR's Kelly McEvers talks with her about being cast by Quentin Tarantino.
NPR

Buy Crop Insurance, Double Your Money

The nation's crop insurance program is really a lottery, says one prominent economist. And it's rigged so that farmers win. In fact, farmers typically get back double the money they pay for premiums.
NPR

South Carolina Voters Likely To Play Major Role In Sorting Out GOP Race

The next big Republican primary is just over a week from now in South Carolina, which has a strong track record for picking the eventual winner. The state also has a history of dirty politics.
NPR

Do You Like Me? Swiping Leads To Spike In Online Dating For Young Adults

A study by the Pew Research Center finds the use of online dating sites has mushroomed in the past few years, particularly among 18- to 24-year-olds.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.