- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The fiance of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s pregnant daughter will join the family of the Republican vice-presidential candidate at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn.

Levi Johnston’s mother said her 18-year-old son left Alaska on Tuesday morning to join the Palin family.

Sherry Johnston said there had been no pressure put on her son to marry 17-year-old Bristol Palin and that the two teens had made plans to wed before it was known she was pregnant.

“This is just a bonus,” Mrs. Johnston said.

The young man’s presence could set off a media frenzy around the young couple as photographers and cameramen scramble for pictures of the two teenagers. On Monday, Mrs. Palin and her husband, Todd, asked the media to respect the young couple’s privacy as has been the tradition with children of candidates.

Gay GOP group backs McCain

The Log Cabin Republicans endorsed Arizona Sen. John McCain’s bid for the presidency Tuesday, four years after the gay Republican group refused to back President Bush’s bid for re-election.

The endorsement may boost Mr. McCain’s reputation as a maverick who reaches across partisan lines, but it may not go down well with his party’s conservative Christian base.

“Senator McCain is no George Bush when it comes to gay issues. We are much more optimistic and enthusiastic about Senator McCain,” Patrick Sammon, the group’s president, told Reuters news agency.

The group said it appreciated Mr. McCain’s opposition to a failed attempt to amend the U.S. Constitution to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman - a position that angered many conservative evangelical leaders.

“Senator McCain stood with us. Now we stand with him … Senator McCain showed courage by bucking his own party’s leadership and the president - twice voting against the amendment,” the Log Cabin Republicans said.

Operations chief keeps it smooth

While most Americans will be paying attention to what happens on the stage, Mike Miller will be closely watching what happens behind the scenes at the Republican National Convention.

Mr. Miller is responsible for making sure everything runs smoothly. It is his 10th convention and, he says, likely his last.

“I’m 71 years old, and this is a big job,” he said on the floor Monday.

As he paused for a few minutes to reflect on his role, the sports arena where most of the activities will take place was abuzz with last-minute preparations - an opera singer belting out “The Star-Spangled Banner” and a young woman recited the Pledge of Allegiance during a sound check.

Romney: No interest in Cabinet post

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said Tuesday that he was “not disappointed at all” at being passed over for the Republican vice-presidential nomination, but also said he wouldn’t be interested in a Cabinet post in a McCain administration.

“I wish I were the Republican presidential nominee,” he said before addressing Massachusetts delegates to the Republican National Convention. “That’s what I fought hard for, but you know, John McCain won fair and square. I salute him for that, congratulate him for that.”

Mr. Romney, widely thought to have been on the shortlist for a McCain running mate, said he assumed the eventual pick, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, had been well-vetted, despite this week’s revelations.

“I think Sarah Palin connects very, very well with the base of our party and with individuals who are undecided across the country,” he said.

As for a Cabinet role, Mr. Romney flatly said no.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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