Pawpaw Goofus and Laura Bush in St. Paul

Cindy McCain and Laura Bush speak to Louisiana delegates.

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ST. PAUL—Most people know the former Louisiana governor by the nickname "Buddy." But to his grandson, granddad Charles Elson Roemer III is simply "Pawpaw Goofus." Roemer, who served the state from 1988 to 1992—he was a Democrat at the time—revealed the affectionate moniker Monday morning when speaking to Louisiana's Republican delegates at breakfast while they waited for Cindy McCain and surprise guest Laura Bush. (Roemer switched parties in 1991 and mounted an unsuccessful run for re-election as a Republican.) Roemer told the delegates he had just spoken with his grandson who said, "Pawpaw Goofus—you're missing the hurricane!" The hurricane was on the minds, of course, of all the delegates, as well as Cindy McCain and the First Lady. "America stands with you during this trying time," McCain said in brief comments, during which she introduced her "pack," daughters Bridgette and Megan, and sons Jack and James. Laura Bush gave a brief peek at what she had planned to say in her speech to the convention: an homage to Cindy McCain's work overseas with organizations including Operation Smile and the World Food Program, a plug for "American hero" John McCain, and her excitement at the opportunity to vote for a Republican woman on the national ticket. The first lady also expressed sympathy for the delegates, 39 of 47 of whom remained in St. Paul for the convention. I know, she said, you have a "lump in your throat and fear in your heart. God bless you all."