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Laura Bush, Cindy McCain appeal for Gulf Coast aid

GOP delegates quickly adopt resolutions, reflecting the convention's somber tone.

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Cindy McCain (left) and First Lady Laura Bush shared the stage Monday to ask GOP delegates to help victims of hurricane Gustav.

Mary Knox Merrill/Staff

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Somber appeals for aid, plus a jolt of political star power. If the first day of the Republican National Convention is any guide, that’s the balance the GOP will be trying to strike here in St. Paul all week.

Once the gavel fell in late afternoon Monday, almost the first order of business at the Xcel Energy Center was a request from Mike Duncan, chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC), for delegates to punch a code into their cellphones and make a donation to the Red Cross to help victims of hurricane Gustav.

Only a few hours later, First Lady Laura Bush and First Lady nominee Cindy made a surprise joint appearance at which they repeated the GOP’s mantra of the moment.

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