According to the Washington Post, Republican officials are considering delaying their convention in St. Paul because of Tropical Storm Gustav, which might hit the Gulf Coast as a full-force hurricane next week.

If it does reach land during their convention, it would hit a sore spot for Republicans, whose current representative in the White House has been blamed for mishandling the response to Hurricane Katrina almost exactly three years ago.

And there’s another possible environmental faux pas — they’ve already evacuated the offshore oil rigs due to the threat, which puts in question the safety and reliability of drilling, which the party has been pumping up of late as the solution to high gas prices. Here’s the nugget from the Post:

Staging a convention during a major natural disaster would be a public relations challenge for either political party. But GOP officials say the burden could be especially heavy for their party, whose reputation was tarred by the Bush administration’s bungling of Katrina and its aftermath in 2005.

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A hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico could also cast unwelcome attention on the offshore oil rigs that McCain has championed as a solution to rising gasoline prices — they are now being evacuated in the face of the coming storm.