3TV Live from low-key Republican Nat'l convention on Day 1

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Low-key RNC on Day 1

ST. PAUL, Minn - A deliberately low-key Republican National Convention has adjourned for the day.

The convention's opening session was abbreviated as Hurricane Gustav hit the Gulf Coast.

President Bush skipped his planned speech to go to disaster and relief centers, determined to avoid a repeat of the disaster mismanagement of Hurricane Katrina.

During the opening minutes of the convention, Republican National Chairman Mike Duncan asked delegates to use their cell phones to text a five-digit code that would make a donation to the Red Cross for victims of the hurricane.

First lady Laura Bush and John McCain's wife, Cindy, sparked cheers when they appeared before the delegates, shunning politics to urge contributions to help storm victims.

Cindy McCain said: "This is a time when we take off our Republican hats and put on our American hat."

Behind the two women was a giant screen showing the names of state-approved charities in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.