Sandy and the Election: Campaign Response

 

We are glad the Obama and Romney campaigns ceased activities and emails in affected areas and that the President is obviously putting the disaster relief ahead of the election, even though both campaigns are very well aware of the potential political implications of every step they make right now. Our prayers are with everyone affected by Sandy, please tweet us if you have a special prayer request and we will RT.

An American flag whips helplessly in the wind near a traffic light that lost power in superstorm Sandy on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in Freeport, N.Y. on Long Island. President Barack Obama declared a major disaster in New York city and Long Island. (AP Photo/Frank Eltman)

“Nobody knows what’s going to happen. Will this help President Obama? Will Romney do something that looks too political? We don’t know,” veteran Democratic strategist Tad Devine said.

Obama, who’d already canceled campaign appearances scheduled for later Monday and early Tuesday, abruptly dropped his appearance at a planned rally in Orlando as well.

“The storm overnight picked up speed and intensity,” Press Secretary Jay Carney said. “And a decision was made that in order to return to Washington to monitor and oversee the efforts to prepare for the storm and respond to it, we needed to leave earlier than planned.”

The president’s quick move back to Washington was a contrast to his decision in September to attend a Las Vegas fundraiser the day after four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador, were killed in an attack on the American consulate in Libya.

At the time, senior adviser David Axelrod explained that Obama was in frequent contact with top advisers, and said, “The president of the United States is responsible for everything that happens.” On Monday, Carney brushed aside a question about why the president needed to be in the White House this time.

“It is essential, in his view, that he be in Washington, one of the areas that will be affected and where his team is, to oversee that effort and to be updated on it,” Carney said. “This is one of those circumstances where, in his view, it makes the most sense for him to be in place in the White House.”

Obama addressed a national television audience Monday afternoon, updating the nation on the storm and urging people to heed the advice of local emergency management officials. “Í am not worried at this point about the impact on the election,” he said.

Romney’s campaign canceled events planned for him as well as running mate Wisconsin U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan on Monday evening and Tuesday. He had previously canceled events planned for Monday in Virginia. At a rally earlier Monday in Avon Lake, Ohio, Romney urged people to donate to the American Red Cross. His offices were collecting supplies in affected states to offer storm victims, and in Virginia, were using a campaign bus to deliver supplies to storm victims.

Both campaigns halted fundraising emails in Virginia, North Carolina, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York and the District of Columbia.

Partisan activity did not cease.

The campaigns did continue in other states. Nevada, Iowa, Colorado, Florida, Wisconsin, most of Ohio and other key areas were not in Sandy’s path. Obama campaign officials held a conference call with reporters bashing Romney for proposing a tax cut and Pentagon spending increases without providing details how he’d pay for them. Romney’s campaign struck back, citing former President Bill Clinton’s campaigning in Orlando for Obama Monday.

“As President Obama falls behind in Florida, his flailing campaign is doubling down on false and discredited attacks,” said Romney spokesman Ryan Williams.

The storm presents a predicament for both campaigns. The race is so tight that the outcome in the too-close-to-call states could come down to which candidate better motivates individual voters. Sandy could make it harder to identify them, or gauge where a campaign is surging or sinking, since daily surveys could be disrupted as pollsters have a harder time contacting voters.

Read the full story: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/10/29/172972/storm-scrambles-campaign-maybe.html#storylink=cpy

Also see: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/race-obama-romney-focusing-sandy-17598855#.UJAUSMXR70c

2012-10-30T18:03:08+00:00

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