Republican Convention Underway Today

Republican convention gets underway today

Just a day after huge protests against numerous administration policies, Republicans gather for a convention aimed at bolstering the president's image as a strong leader in treacherous times. In today's opening session, Arizona Senator John McCain is expected to stress that President Bush "has not flinched from the hard choices."

After months of appealing to his conservative base, the president and his convention planners have scripted a program pitched toward the political middle.

The aim is to win over independents and wavering Democrats. Republican National Chairman Ed Gillespie acknowledges Democratic support is critical to the GOP winning several key battleground states. Many prominent convention speakers are more politically moderate on social issues than many delegates.