The October surprise is here and her name is Sandy, as in Hurricane Sandy.
As Hurricane Sandy rips its way through the north-east, President Obama and Mitt Romney have both altered their agenda for the final week of the campaign. Since the storm has left multiple states in horrible condition, President Obama has been in constant contact with every governor, Republican or Democrat, making sure each state gets what they need in a timely fashion. One of the states that has been hit the hardest is New Jersey. Over the last 24 hours, Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) made the media rounds speaking to NBC, MSNBC and CNN. The usual Obama critic, Christie put party politics aside to praise the president during an interview on NBC’s “Today Show.”
“The president has been outstanding in this and so have the folks at FEMA.”
On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” –
“The president has been all over this, and he deserves great credit. He gave me his number at the White House and told me to call him if I needed anything and he absolutely means it, and it’s been very good working with the president and his administration.”
Christie also appeared on CNN where he called President Obama “incredibly supportive” and noted that the president never even mentioned the upcoming election. While the president has been working overtime trying not to repeat the Bush administrations response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Mitt Romney has taken a different approach.
The Romney campaign canceled campaign events for Tuesday and set up what they call a “storm relief” event, coincidentally in the swing state of Ohio. Bringing donations, food, clothing and water, Romney supporters flocked to see the Republican nominee who is now put himself in a position where he can only scratch his head. If Romney continues to campaign, he looks heartless, adding to the stigma that he is a greedy businessman who only cares about the wealthy. But if Romney stops campaigning, he loses an opportunity to push his closing message in the final week of the election. Not knowing what to do, Romney held the party line, calling Republican governors from Virginia and New Jersey, but never reached out to Gov. Martin O’Malley, Democrat from Maryland, or Connecticut Gov. Daniel Malloy, also a Democrat.
Hurricane Sandy could make or break the presidential election that is as close as any other race in recent history. With Mitt Romney holding slight leads in many national polls, President Obama seems to have the advantage in the key swing states that could win him another four years in the White House. Mitt Romney is in the difficult position of defending small government at a time where a bigger, stronger government is needed more than ever. If President Obama is re-elected next Tuesday, his quick response to a national emergency could be one of the reasons why.
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