The devastation visited on the New Jersey shoreline by superstorm Sandy may well have far reaching repercussions for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
In an unlikely love-in New Jersey’s Republican Governor, Chris Christie, a fierce critic of Obama and his administration, heaped praise on the presidents handling of the catastrophe.
Dr Jeremy Mayer is a political analyst at George Mason University in Washington:
‘‘The pictures of the President visiting disaster sites and working with a Republican governor of New Jersey puts him above politics and reminds Americans of the good things he has done as president… But there is a lot weighing Obama down. This will be the first president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt to be re-elected with an economy doing this badly.”
Others believe the fall out from Sandy will be shortlived and the economy will return to centre stage come polling day.
Among them David Winston from The Winston Group, a Republican think-tank:
‘‘Certainly the president was focused in terms of concern about the disaster, in sort of helping the North East, but the bottom line is when voters go into the voting booth, they’re going to be answering one question: who’s got a better plan for the economy, and that’s going be their focus.’‘
As engineers battle to restore utilities to those hit hardest by Sandy. Romney’s campaign may well have been short circuited by the superstorm.
Euronews correspondent Paul Hackett is in the US capital:
‘‘President Obama has won much praise for his handling of the hurricane, even from some Republicans. In such a divisive campaign this moment of bi-partisanship cannot be underestimated. Paul Hackett, for euronews in Washington.’‘