Editor's note: Ruben Navarrette Jr. is a CNN contributor and a nationally syndicated columnist with the Washington Post Writers Group. Follow him on Twitter: @rubennavarrette.
By Ruben Navarrette Jr., CNN Contributor
(CNN) - Now that delegates have converged on Tampa, Florida, for the Republican National Convention, one has to wonder whether there is enough room in the arena for all the conflicting and contradictory elements of the modern Republican Party.
There is the camp that claims it wants to be more inclusive, broader in its appeal and more welcoming to women, gays and minorities. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush recently warned that, because of changing demographics, the GOP has to "reach out to a much broader audience than we do today."
But then there is the camp that ensured that the Republican platform included language rejecting not just same-sex marriage but also the watered-down alternative that many elected officials find more palatable: civil unions.
The GOP platform committee also defeated a proposed amendment that said all Americans should be treated "equally under the law" as long as they're not hurting anyone else.
Editor's note: William J. Bennett, a CNN contributor, is the author of "The Book of Man: Readings on the Path to Manhood." He was U.S. secretary of education from 1985 to 1988 and director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy under President George H.W. Bush.
By William Bennett, CNN Contributor
(CNN) - When the Republican National Convention kicks off this week in Tampa, Florida, the nation will notice one thing before anything else: This is not your father's or grandfather's Republican Party. Rather, it's a party with leaders as diverse as the country it intends to represent.
With the nation's changing demographics, Republicans can no longer rely on the South and Midwest to carry them to victory in 2012. Instead, they must broaden their base into traditionally purple and blue states. It's an uphill battle: President Obama leads by a sizeable margin with women and by wide margins with Latino and black voters. But it's not insurmountable. Romney already leads with men by roughly the same number President Obama leads with women. Nor is it unprecedented. Republicans won a landslide victory in the 2010 fall midterm elections. Now they must devise a strategy to repeat that.
Republicans, in short, must repeat what they did in their landslide victory in the 2010 fall midterm elections.
By Vivian Kuo, CNN
(CNN) - The 30-mile stretch between Biloxi and Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, is still dotted with battle wounds from Hurricane Katrina seven years later.
Concrete slabs and steps that lead to nothing but trash and overgrown weeds are all that is left of historic brick homes.
But amid the slabs are majestic homes with grand, sweeping porches and perfectly manicured lawns.
The owners of these homes are as tough and resilient as only survivors of one of the deadliest storms in history could be.
Lifelong Bay St. Louis resident Corky Hadden lives on the spot of his childhood home, set off the water where the bay feeds into the Gulf of Mexico.
While he and his family evacuated to safety inland, Katrina's ravaging storm surge swept the house right off its stilts, leaving only the foundation intact.
"We had some old columns that the old house stood on, and those columns were picked clean, there was nothing left on them," he said.
Determined, Hadden rebuilt where his boyhood home once stood, both stronger and higher.
"I've got poured concrete pillars filled with steel, 10 times more steel than before," he said. "We're now 24 feet above sea level, 11 feet from the ground."
Isaac could bring in a 12-foot storm surge, which would mean Hadden's first floor could take on some water.
"We don't have anything important below that 24-foot elevation," he said.