Republican National Convention
Tuesday, August 01, 2000

Chao makes Kentucky proud




By Patrick Crowley
The Cincinnati Enquirer

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Elaine Chao, wife of Kentucky U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell.
(Michael E. Keating photo)
| ZOOM |
        PHILADELPHIA — Kentuckian Elaine Chao used the inspiring story of her immigrant family to tout George W. Bush's “compassionate conservatism” campaign slogan during Monday night's opening session of the Republican National Convention.

        Ms. Chao, wife of Kentucky U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, told a prime-time television audience of coming to America as the young child of parents fleeing the growing dominance of communist regimes in Asia.

        “We knew that, within our hearts, with hard work, perseverance and the help of newly found neighbors and friends, we could indeed achieve the American dream,” said Ms. Chao, who went on to head the United Way and the Peace Corps and is rumored to be in line for a Cabinet post in a Bush administration.

        “The story of my family is not unique,” she said. “It's a story shared by millions of immigrants to America ... and that's what Gov. Bush's compassionate conservatism is all about.”

        Ms. Chao also spoke of Mr. Bush's plan to split the Immigration and Naturalization Service into two agencies to better serve new arrivals to the nation.

        One agency would handle enforcement, the other would serve people coming to the United States, she said.

        Ms. Chao's appearance was scheduled to make two major points about the Bush campaign:

        „Mr. Bush and the Republicans are inclusive of women, minorities and immigrants.

        „As governor of Texas, Mr. Bush was understanding of and helpful to Latinos coming from Central and South America.

        “Gov. George W. Bush knows the great contributions that immigrants make to America, and he appreciates that America's richness comes from its diverse heritage,” she said.

        The Kentucky delegation applauded wildly during Ms. Chao's speech. She acknowledged the delegates when she came out by mentioning them and lingered for a few moments at the end of her speech to wave to the delegation.

        Delegate Barb Haas of Fort Thomas said Ms. Chao's appearance and involvement in Republican politics is proof that the GOP is open to anyone.

        Also speaking Monday was Sharon Darling, the president and founder of the National Center for Family Literacy in Louisville.

        “As President, George W. Bush will launch Reading First, a $5 billion initiative aimed at conquering illiteracy among disadvantaged children and teaching every child to read at grade level by third grade,” Ms. Darling said in her speech.

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GOP stresses inclusion
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- Chao makes Kentucky proud
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