While the press and campaigns speculate furiously about how Hurricane Sandy could influence the 2012 presidential race, it’s worth considering its impact four years hence.
The storm careening up the East Coast not only crosses up the schedules of President Obama’s and Mitt Romney’s campaigns, it also crosses the turf of several potential presidential candidates in 2016. Every single one of them would like to have the “governing competency” badge on the résumé, and disaster management has always been a very big badge.
Consider the optics early this afternoon, when CNN cut away from a phone interview with Newark Mayor Cory Booker, a potential 2016-er, talking up the storm information on his Twitter feed, to a press conference of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, another potential 2016-er, talking up the state’s storm preparedness while sporting a zip-up proclaiming “Chris Christie -- Governor.”
In Virginia and Maryland, Govs. Bob McDonnell and Martin O’Malley, respectively. In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Michael Bloomberg. And in Massachusetts, Gov. Deval Patrick. All were front-and-center when the camera lights went on, touting their efforts.
Both Obama and Romney have impetus to stay above the fray and appear intent on addressing the plights of storm-afflicted Americans. Their potential successors have immediate motivation to govern as effectively as possible.
NATIONAL JOURNAL’S PRESIDENTIAL RACE REPORT
Hurricane Sandy Upends the Presidential Campaign
[National Journal, 10/29/12] From possible election-day power outages to the psychological impact of the storm on voters, NJ’s Naureen Khan breaks down how Sandy has thrown numerous wrenches into the candidates’ well laid plans in the final week of their campaigns.
Obama Ad Hits Romney Over Jeep Claims
[10/29/12] The ad, airing in Ohio, hits back against a Romney ad that insinuates that Jeep is moving manufacturing jobs out of the state despite parent company Chrysler’s insistence that it is not. The ad also quotes the conservative Detroit News criticizing Romney’s stance on the auto bailout and ends with the line, “Mitt Romney on Ohio jobs: wrong then, dishonest now.”
Obama-Romney Tie Among Likely Voters in Pew Poll
[Bloomberg, 10/29/12] The two each received 47 percent of support from likely voters. A previous version of the poll, conducted just after the first debate in early October, showed Romney leading 49 percent to 45 percent.
Sandy May Delay Final Pre-Election Jobs Report
[Wall Street Journal, 10/29/12] The Labor Department on Monday said that it hasn’t made a decision yet on whether to delay Friday’s October jobs report because of the storm. The report is the final reading on the labor market before the November elections.
Obama Balancing Storm Response with Campaigning
[Associated Press, 10/29/12] As president, Obama oversees the federal government’s preparations for the looming storm and he will bear the responsibility for any missteps. With that in mind, Obama and Romney both scrapped all campaign events scheduled for Monday and Tuesday.
CNN Poll: Romney 50 - Obama 49 in Florida
[CNN, 10/29/12] Romney’s leads falls well within the margin of error, and roughly five percent of likely voters are not firmly committed to a candidate. The poll found that 55 percent of men support Romney, while 54 percent of women support Obama.
Hurricane Sandy Makes Whirlwind Campaigns Even More Turbulent
[Washington Post, 10/28/12] Sandy, headed for landfall on the Mid-Atlantic coast on Monday, adds another unpredictable factor to the endgame of the presidential race. Meanwhile, Politico has five questions about the prospective political aftermath of the storm.
Clinton: Romney’s Jeep Ad a ‘Load of Bull’
[TalkingPointsMemo, 10/29/12] The former president told supporters at a rally in Youngstown, Ohio, Friday that Obama’s first car was a Jeep and that he would “never move Jeep to China.” He also said Romney offered only a vague “hide-and-seek budget.”
Obama Campaign Says It Will Counter ROF Buy in Pennsylvania
[Politico, 10/29/12] The campaign said a surge in gifts from online donors will allow it to compete with the Pro-Romney Restore Our Future ad buy in the state. “We are going to win Pennsylvania, but we aren’t taking anything for granted,” said Obama campaign manager Jim Messina.
Would Romney Support FEMA?
[National Journal, 10/29/12] As the East Coast braces for Hurricane Sandy, some are raising questions about Romney’s position on the sometimes-controversial Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Obama vs. Romney: Five Hidden Factors
[Politico, 10/29/12] Lurking below the surface of the election is an array of small, hidden factors that could break the stalemate: the impact of the Des Moines Register Romney endorsement, Romney’s pitch to white ethnics in Ohio, and a quirk in Wisconsin’s election law.
The Bully Pulpit Won’t Help Obama Get a Grand Bargain
[National Journal, 10/29/12] In an interview on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Thursday, Obama said if he wins reelection it would give him a “mandate” to work with Congress on the debt crisis. But NJ’s Sophie Quinton writes that history shows when it comes to the tough issues, use of the bully pulpit can backfire.
Obama Looks to Young Voters, Many of Whom Seem Uninspired
[Los Angeles Times, 10/29/12] Four years after turning out in huge numbers to cast their ballots for Obama, many young voters -- facing high unemployment and diminished dreams -- are less than inspired by two candidates they see as thoroughly conventional. There is no doubt that Obama will win a majority of the youth vote -- the question is whether turnout matches that of 2008.
Boston Globe Endorses Obama
[Boston Globe, 10/29/12] Romney’s hometown newspaper endorsed Obama on Monday, saying he can help broker a balanced approach to the national debt and praising the president’s first-term accomplishments in the face of heavy GOP opposition.
Sandy Turns Obama Trip into Most Expensive Pizza Delivery in History
[BuzzFeed, 10/29/12] The White House cancelled an event in Florida on Monday, but the president did manage to make an unscheduled stop to speak with volunteers and deliver pizza to staffers in what Bloomberg reporter Hans Nichols described on Twitter as “the most expensive” pizza delivery in history.
Romney Avoids Taxes Via Loophole Cutting Mormon Donations
[Bloomberg, 10/29/12] Romney used the tax-exempt status of a charity -- the Mormon Church, according to a 2007 filing -- to defer taxes for more than 15 years. This popular tax shelter often allows rich people to take advantage of the exempt status of charities without actually giving away much money.
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