REPUBLICAN CONVENTION: Tom Kean disappointed neither convention addressed 9/11

(Gold9472: Probably referring to their "recommendations.")

by Bob Braun/ The Star-Ledger
Monday September 01, 2008, 12:34 PM

Former Gov. Tom Kean, best known outside the state as chairman of the 9-11 Commission, says he is disappointed that neither party's convention devoted time to the work of his panel.

"But I'm not surprised,'' says Kean. "We're very easily distracted. This is an issue that has gone off the radar.''

He says he has not been asked to speak about the 9-11 commission at Republican any convention or caucus, including New Jersey's. When Bill Baroni, the delegation chairman, introduced Kean, he did mention the commission-- but Kean himself didn't.

In an interview, Kean said he is working with 9-11 family groups to form an organization that will present the new president with "the unfinished business" of the commission.

He praised John McCain as someone who "fought the White House every step of the way" in creating the commission. Initially, President Bush opposed the formation of the panel that, in the end, blamed both his administration and that of former President Bill Clinton for failing to do enough to prevent the attacks.

Kean, a former prep school history teacher, contributed to the continuing efforts of Republicans here to insist their convention was every bit as historic as that of the Democrats last week in Denver.

"The last time the Republicans nominated a maverick like John McCain is when they nominated Teddy Roosevelt--and that worked out pretty well," said Kean.