By Steve Handelsman
SAINT PAUL, Minnesota (KHNL) - The Gustav crisis means the Republican National Convention will not come off as scheduled Monday and maybe not for the rest of the week.
John McCain and his new running mate, Sarah Palin, flew to a hurricane center in Mississippi. He vowed that Gustav will be their focus. Not the Republican convention.
"We have to go from a party event to a call to the nation for action," said McCain.
As the hurricane got closer, McCain went further.
"So we're gonna suspend most of our activities tomorrow."
There'll be procedural votes. But no Republican rah rah.
"It's time to open our hearts, our efforts, our wallets, our concern our care for those American citizens who are now under the probably of a natural disaster."
Delegates had hoped for prime time, page one coverage.
"Its obviously disappointing because - of course - like for the convention you do want a lot of press for the convention," said Jane Gibson, Missouri delegate. "It would have been nice to have the whole spotlight specifically on the convention."
The Louisiana delegation rushed home, network TV anchors headed to New Orleans.
President Bush and vice president Cheney canceled.
"In light of these events, I will not be going to Minnesota for the Republican National Convention."
In Ohio, Barack Obama offered help after Gustav.
"I think we can get tons of volunteers to travel down there if it becomes necessary," said Obama. "I think we can activate an email list of a couple million people who want to give back."
It's a reminder of Obama's mass appeal shown off at his convention last week in Denver.