ST. PAUL, Minn., Sept. 1 (UPI) -- The first day of the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., ended the way it began Monday -- with a prayer for Hurricane Gustav victims.
"As we gather on the banks of the Mississippi (River)," the Rev. Joseph Johnson of the Cathedral of St. Paul said, "our prayers go out in a particular way to our fellow citizen" downriver in the Gulf Coast.
Delegates worked on an abbreviated schedule, approving a platform, approving the permanent chairman for the convention and approving the credentials committee report.
Rep. David Dreier of California, the convention's parliamentarian, told CSPAN the RNC, "in a post-Katrina world, thinking about the prospect of a disaster," developed a contingency plan to ratchet back the convention yet allow it to complete tasks necessary to nominate and approve presidential and vice presidential candidates Sen. John McCain of Arizona and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
Absent from the first day was music usually played before and the session begins.
"I never seen such a solemn convention floor," he said, "and that's because of the challenges we face."
The schedule for the convention's remaining three days would be determined "one day at a time," Dreier said.
"I know Senator McCain ... wants to be here," Dreier said. "I personally believe it still can happen, but I don't want to predict what will happen."