With less than a week to go before Election Day, President Barack Obama and hopeful Mitt Romney face one of the trickiest tasks in politics; campaigning in the wake of a natural disaster.
While this is no time for presidential candidates to quibble over small issues or engage in the name-calling that has defined the 2012 campaign, there is simply no precedent for a major disaster upending things a week before Election Day.
“This event has given President Obama almost a natural platform to do that: to take the responsibility as commander-in-chief and do whatever it takes to address these real concerns for real people.” said Patrick Griffin, Director of the Public Affairs and Advocacy Institute at American University in Washington. “There is almost nothing that Governor Romney can do to compete with the opportunity that this presents to President Obama. He has to walk a fine line, but yet he has to be so careful not to look insensitive and shrill. And I think he is trying very hard to do that.”
Euronews’ correspondent in Washington Stefan Grobe says:”With only a few days left until Election Day, there’s little time for campaigns to poll their way through Sandy’s aftermath. Political responses to disasters are as much about instinct as science. President Obama believes he can pull ahead of Romney by being the ‘rescuer-in-chief‘”.