Katie Couric's Notebook: Bush Keeps A Distance

Republicans ramp up their convention in St. Paul tonight. With millions of Gulf Coast residents anxious about damage from Hurricane Gustav, yesterday's opening session was all business with none of the usual hoopla.

Tonight's schedule includes an address by President Bush, who won't be in the convention hall, appearing instead on a giant video screen from the White House.

That could be a good thing for John McCain. Hurt by Iraq and a sour economy, Mr. Bush has an approval rating of just 28 percent. So, McCain doesn't want to get too close. After all, Barack Obama's been telling voters that McCain is running for Mr. Bush's third term.

The two Republicans disagree on issues that include global warming and diplomacy, but they're in sync on others: The economy and Iraq. So, Sen. McCain's not just running against Obama. He's also campaigning against the notion that he's simply President Bush the sequel.


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