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Republicans Return to Main Business at Convention


Republicans are getting their national convention back on track, with an address by President Bush, and a list of speakers focusing on Senator John McCain's leadership abilities. McCain was campaigning Tuesday before heading to the convention site in St. Paul, Minnesota, for a speech Thursday accepting his party's nomination as presidential candidate. Meanwhile, delegates at the convention rallied around McCain's chosen running mate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. VOA's Dan Robinson reports from St. Paul, Minnesota.

With an address from the president via satellite from the White House, and a list of prominent speakers, Republicans want to move the spotlight back on McCain.

Among those addressing the Tuesday session will be a former Senate Democrat, Joseph Lieberman, who was the Democratic vice presidential candidate in 2000, and later won his Senate seat as an independent. Lieberman was at the top of a list of potential vice presidential picks for McCain.

Fred Thompson, the former senator and television actor, who ran unsuccessfully for the presidency, will praise McCain as someone who is trustworthy and qualified to be president. Republican delegates also will see a video describing McCain's life and character, with a focus on his military service and time in Congress. Also on the list of speakers, a former Marine Corps pilot who was at one point in the same prison cell with McCain when he was a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

Even as Republicans try to shift the focus to Senator McCain and his qualifications as a future president, his campaign continues to respond to questions about whether his advisors properly vetted Sarah Palin, his choice as vice president.

McCain had this comment to reporters while campaigning in the city of Cleveland.

"My vetting process was completely thorough, and I am grateful for the results," said John McCain.

The questions arose after Palin, a social conservative, announced Monday that her 17-year-old unmarried daughter is pregnant, and subsequent revelations that Palin is the subject of an investigation in her home state of Alaska.

McCain's campaign reported recent improved fund-raising, saying this suggests enthusiasm for Palin, and delegates at the convention expressed support for her.

Oklahoma Congresswoman Mary Fallin says most Republican delegates at the convention have sympathy with Palin and approve of McCain's selection of her as his running mate:

"People are very excited, very supported, they are very supportive," said Mary Fallin. "It was a bold move on Senator McCain's part."

Governor Palin will address the convention on Wednesday, and Senator McCain says he believes her speech will further heighten excitement about her, especially among socially conservative voters.

McCain, like his Democratic opponent Senator Barack Obama, will deliver his nomination acceptance speech on Thursday, the last day of the Republican event.

Republicans are getting their national convention back on track, with an address by President Bush, and a list of speakers focusing on Senator John McCain's leadership abilities. McCain was campaigning Tuesday before heading to the convention site in St. Paul, Minnesota, for a speech Thursday accepting his party's nomination as presidential candidate. Meanwhile, delegates at the convention rallied around McCain's chosen running mate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. VOA's Dan Robinson reports from St. Paul, Minnesota.

With an address from the president via satellite from the White House, and a list of prominent speakers, Republicans want to move the spotlight back on McCain.

Among those addressing the Tuesday session will be a former Senate Democrat, Joseph Lieberman, who was the Democratic vice presidential candidate in 2000, and later won his Senate seat as an independent. Lieberman was at the top of a list of potential vice presidential picks for McCain.

Fred Thompson, the former senator and television actor, who ran unsuccessfully for the presidency, will praise McCain as someone who is trustworthy and qualified to be president. Republican delegates also will see a video describing McCain's life and character, with a focus on his military service and time in Congress. Also on the list of speakers, a former Marine Corps pilot who was at one point in the same prison cell with McCain when he was a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

Even as Republicans try to shift the focus to Senator McCain and his qualifications as a future president, his campaign continues to respond to questions about whether his advisors properly vetted Sarah Palin, his choice as vice president.

McCain had this comment to reporters while campaigning in the city of Cleveland.

"My vetting process was completely thorough, and I am grateful for the results," said John McCain.

The questions arose after Palin, a social conservative, announced Monday that her 17-year-old unmarried daughter is pregnant, and subsequent revelations that Palin is the subject of an investigation in her home state of Alaska.

McCain's campaign reported recent improved fund-raising, saying this suggests enthusiasm for Palin, and delegates at the convention expressed support for her.

Oklahoma Congresswoman Mary Fallin says most Republican delegates at the convention have sympathy with Palin and approve of McCain's selection of her as his running mate:

"People are very excited, very supported, they are very supportive," said Mary Fallin. "It was a bold move on Senator McCain's part."

Governor Palin will address the convention on Wednesday, and Senator McCain says he believes her speech will further heighten excitement about her, especially among socially conservative voters.

McCain, like his Democratic opponent Senator Barack Obama, will deliver his nomination acceptance speech on Thursday, the last day of the Republican event.

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