Hurricane Sandy: The October surprise that could re-elect President Obama

Stephen Colbert is right. Maybe hurricanes do have a liberal bias. Photo: Associated Press

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 1, 2012Stephen Colbert is right. Maybe hurricanes do have a liberal bias.

Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was a low point for the Bush presidency. One of the most memorable images from the disaster is of President George W. Bush looking out of his window on Air Force One as he flew over New Orleans. An image that made him look detached and indifferent.

Hurricane Isaac delayed the 2012 Republican National Convention. And now, thanks to Hurricane Sandy, Gov. Mitt Romney’s momentum is slowly coming to a halt.

This disaster once again reveals the inherent advantages an incumbent president has over any challenger. In time of crisis, the American people look to the president for leadership, comfort and reassurance that better days are ahead.

States that were decimated by the disaster want the president to deploy all the federal government resources at his disposal.

So far this week, President Obama is doing all the right things. He is striking the right tone of unity and bipartisanship, and trying to coalesce the country around his leadership. “There are no Democrats or Republicans during a storm,” President Obama said at a rally in Green Bay, WI.

The president toured the disaster scene in New Jersey with Gov. Chris Christie and in a rare moment of bipartisanship, both men showed mutual respect and exchanged kind words.

President Obama’s response to the disaster is paying political dividends for him. A recent Washington Post-ABC tracking poll shows that 78% approve of his overall response to the hurricane. In fact, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg endorsed Obama, citing him as the best candidate to tackle climate change.

So from a political standpoint, this has been a good week for the president. He has shown strong leadership through his consistent outreach and commitment to help the victims recover from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

With the election only a few days away, Obama still remains the favorite to win. He maintains a slight lead in the swing states: Wisconsin (49 to 46 percent), New Hampshire (49 to 48 percent), Nevada (50 to 47 percent), Iowa (48 to 46 percent), and in the all-important state of Ohio (49 to 46 percent). This is according to polling data from RealClearPolitics.

If Obama wins re-election, we can look back at the week of Hurricane Sandy as a major event that helped solidify his victory.

Ayobami is a graduate student in George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management. For questions, comments, or story suggestions, contact him on twitter at @ayobamiao or on Facebook.

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Ayobami Olugbemiga

Ayobami Olugbemiga is a Political Sales Team Leader at NCC Media where he develops Cable TV advertising schedules for political candidates and interest groups. An award-winning collegiate journalist, Ayobami received his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is currently pursuing his Master’s degree in Political Management from George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management. 

In 2013, he was honored by the Society of Professional Journalists with a Mark of Excellence Award for Online Opinion and Commentary. Follow Ayobami on twitter at @ayobamiao


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