From NBC's Mark Murray and Domenico Montanaro
The Republicans have canceled most activities for tomorrow, the first day of its national convention, because of the approaching Hurricane Gustav -- expected to hit the Gulf region tomorrow.
Republicans will hold only a procedural session from 4 p.m. ET to about 6:30 pm ET to call the convention to order and also vote on rules and the platform.
All speeches are canceled and campaign manager Rick Davis called for a halt on political rhetoric.
McCain spoke via satellite to a packed room of reporters at the Republican National Convention. He encouraged Republicans to take off their "Republican hats" and put on their "American hats."
The activities that will occur tomorrow:
-- the call to order
-- receiving the report from the credentials committee
-- adopting the rules
-- electing the officers
-- and adopting the party platform.
All else -- what happens on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday; whether McCain and Palin will be present to accept their nominations; who might speak on the remaining days; is all still to be determined, Davis said.
The storm, its strength and its aftermath will dictate what the Republicans do.
Davis said in the news conference that he is encouraging Republican donors present at convention to contribute to to-be-determined Gulf charities and wants all delegations to be respectful and sensitive to the situation.