President Obama is officially back on the campaign trail in full swing, delivering his closing argument at a chilly tarmac rally here – steps from Air Force One – after an unprecedented and unanticipated two-day pause in the home stretch thanks to Hurricane Sandy.
Obama invoked the superstorm, and the lessons he has taken from it, to set the tone for his three-state, 16-hour swing with five days of campaigning to Election Day.
“All the petty differences seem to melt away. There are no Republicans or Democrats during a storm,” he said.
Referring to his visit to the disaster zone in New Jersey Wednesday, Obama said he saw “a spirit that says in the end we’re all in this together. That we rise and fall as one nation and one people.”
We sure are lucky to have Obama as our president at a critical time like this. He spent TWO WHOLE DAYS dealing with Superstorm Sandy! That
photo-op tour personal inspection of the damaged areas will probably save his reelection.
Meanwhile, from the New York Daily News:
Staten Island has been the scene of some of the most heartbreaking storm-related devastation, especially on the South Shore where numerous trapped residents had to be rescued. Hundreds of homes — from multimillion-dollar mansions to modest bungalows — have been damaged and dozens of streets are impassable due to downed trees and buckled roads.
As such, federal and local officials heard an earful from residents Thursday.
“Please don’t leave us,” a weeping Donna Solli pleaded to Sen. Chuck Schumer in front of her damaged Neptune St. home. “I live alone down here.”
Schumer hugged Solli, a Transportation Department worker, and tried to comfort her. “I know what you’re going through, sweetheart,” he said.
Minutes later, Joe and Angela Fugel approached the senior senator with tears in their eyes. Owners of A&J Police Equipment & Uniforms, their 27-year-old store on Cleveland Ave. near Great Kills Harbor is now in ruins.
“Everything’s gone — come look please!” she cried out. “I lost everything — my livelihood!”
After showing Schumer the wreckage, she turned to a reporter and said, “We need so much help.”
“My husband built this up from nothing,” she said.
I am going to put aside my usual sunny optimism and naïveté and be a cynical pessimist for a moment and say that New York and New Jersey would be a hell of a lot better off right now if they were swing states. If they were swing states then President Obama would be down there personally delivering supplies and rescuing people.
If I was advising Obama that’s exactly where he would be right now. The campaign is effectively over anyway, and he could do a lot more to help himself by leading the disaster relief efforts instead of campaigning. That would also affect Romney’s campaign efforts. The problem is that it would require him to actually act like a leader.
It really is very revealing of his mindset. The crass political calculations always take precedence. Four years ago on November 2, 2008, Barack Obama’s grandmother died. This was two days before the election. Obama never stopped campaigning.
Imagine if he had announced he was suspending his campaign to fly to Hawaii with his family so they could grieve together. Would that have cost him any votes? Highly unlikely. In fact, he could have easily gained sympathy votes. The media would have eaten it up.
He would have missed out on giving his victory speech in Grant Park, but he could have given the same speech from Hawaii. However there wouldn’t have been a huge adoring crowd in Honolulu. We can see what his priorities obviously were then and are now.
Three more days until the end of an error.