George W. Bush was intended to speak on Day 1 of the Republican National Convention, but a hurricane named Gustav meant his speech was cancelled. But today rather than appearing on stage, he passed the baton to Republican presidential candidate John McCain via satellite.

The New York Times reports that “far from being the kind of unifying sendoff and baton pass engineered for Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton”, Day 2  of the RNC only highlighted “McCain’s eagerness to get the president off the stage”.

“The brief appearance made Mr. Bush the first sitting president not to attend his own party’s political convention since Lyndon Johnson skipped the Democratic convention in 1968. With most of the delegates here devoted to the president to the end, it offered Mr. Bush, the most unpopular president in recent history, a chance to revel, although remotely, in the kind of affection he rarely gets these days.”

Read the full story here.

Peter Fray

Fetch your first 12 weeks for $12

Here at Crikey, we saw a mighty surge in subscribers throughout 2020. Your support has been nothing short of amazing — we couldn’t have got through this year like no other without you, our readers.

If you haven’t joined us yet, fetch your first 12 weeks for $12 and start 2021 with the journalism you need to navigate whatever lies ahead.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey