TAMPA (CBS) –  We all hope and pray that the big storm headed for New Orleans spares the city and its people. If ever someone needed a lucky break, it’s them.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

And while it seems like small potatoes compared with the enormity of what might happen, the Republicans may well have to figure out a thoughtful way to respond to Isaac’s outcome from the stage here in Tampa that conveys a positive message about their policies and themselves.

Cancelling the convention outright seems like a cowardly option.

So does ignoring what’s happening.

To proceed with business as usual would surely remind everyone of former President Bush’s amateurish fumbling in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina seven years ago, the thumbs-up for FEMA’s poor performance, the ludicrous flyover by Air Force One.

The proper response should probably depend on what happens.

If, heaven forbid, there is major damage to the city, sympathy and support are what’s needed.

Perhaps all the money due to be squandered on lavish convention parties and skybox hospitality suites could be donated to relief. (Maybe next week the Democrats’ filthy-rich high-rollers could do the same.)

But what if New Orleans escapes trouble due to proper preparation and the learned lessons of Katrina?

If tastefully handled, that could be a great chance for the Republicans to praise the elements of such a success, such as creative thinking, hard work, and collaboration, and explain how they propose to bring those qualities to Washington. They could talk about what we’ve learned from New Orleans about what government can do for its citizens, and what the people do better for themselves.

In other words, they could treat this moment seriously, as a chance to reflect and learn, rather than as just more fodder for the political mill.

Wouldn’t that be a nice change of pace for voters fed up to here with the same old exploitative partisan spin.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.


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