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Notes and quotes from the convention

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PHILADELPHIA — The seats aren't bad ones, two dozen or so paces from the steps that lead up to the podium at the First Union Center. Still, they feel distant for the Kansas delegation.

Just four years ago in San Diego, when Bob Dole was the Republican presidential nominee, delegates for Kansas, his home state, sat up front.

In 1996, the Kansas delegation stayed at a luxury hotel in downtown San Diego. This year, the delegation is at the Airport Marriott. Members are quick to say the think the hotel is a good one and fairly convenient, given the 10-minute ride on shuttle buses to the convention hall.

"I don't care where I am on the floor," said state Sen. Nancey Harrington, a delegate from Goddard. "I'm just happy to be a delegate."

However, the delegates also have a sense that if Dole had remained in the Senate, they might be closer to historic sites such as the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall.

"We're on our own now, so we have to scratch and claw for everything we get," said state GOP Chairman Mark Parkinson.


153: The number of times that Republicans mentioned President Clinton in their 1996 platform.

Two: The number of times that Al Gore is mentioned in this year's GOP platform.


"I said we're the only delegation that is going to have to send its vote by the Internet," said Tom Roth, New Hampshire national committeeman, whose state went for John McCain in its first-in-the-nation primary and is seated in a far back corner of the hall.


Not everyone is welcoming. The headline of a Philadelphia alternative newspaper, Philadelphia Weekly, reads in type 2 3/4 inches tall:


Below, a cartoon shows a city sanitation man sweeping up behind an elephant.



Republicans adopted a decidedly conservative platform as Dole's convention opened with a tribute to three GOP presidents and the prime-time partisan debut of retired Gen. Colin Powell.

The carefully choreographed convention was gaveled to order right on schedule, raising the curtain on the Republican effort to win back the White House and defend the congressional majorities they had captured two years before.


Theme: "Strength and security with a purpose: Safe in our homes and in the world."

Speakers: Pledge of Allegiance led by Everett Alvarez Jr., first U.S. aviator shot down over Vietnam; Rep. Jim Kolbe, R-Ariz., the only openly gay Republican in Congress; Condoleezza Rice, Bush's chief foreign policy adviser; Elizabeth Dole, former Cabinet secretary; former Sen. Bob Dole; retired Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf; Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska; Sen. John McCain of Arizona.