A week out from election day an unforeseen wild card has emerged. How are the candidates supposed to react in response to the devastation left behind from Hurricane Sandy? With so little time left, are they expected to suspend campaign activities or continue ahead with the mud slinging. There reactions to this disaster can prove to be instrumental in the election’s outcome. A disaster situation like this has never occurred so close to such a major election. Here is how the two candidates are facing the crisis one day out from the Hurricane’s landfall:
Obama returned to his day job, and has canceled his campaign events through Wednesday. He will be touring damaged areas in New Jersey and will cut through red tape to provide aid to those that need it most.
Romney on the other hand faces a different situation. He can’t actually provide any resources as Obama is able to. It is important that Romney be seen taking some action in response to the Hurricane. Simply ignoring the disaster at this point could cost him the election.
The campaign must go on, but the question is when can the negativity resume. With the short life span of news in the modern era, it may be sooner than you think. Interestingly both campaigns have released new negative ads in swing states this week and even if the candidates aren’t actively campaigning at this very moment they have people doing the work for them. Vice President Biden will make a campaign stop in Florida on Wednesday while Obama is at work and interestingly Paul Ryan will make a stop in Wisconsin for “storm relief efforts”(Epstein). (I heard the damage there was worse than expected). Despite the negative ads neither candidate has publicly thrown jabs at the other since the Hurricane. When should the stump criticisms resume, no one knows because a situation like this has never happened.
In reality the campaign has already continued but almost in secret. Who is to say that this is the right or wrong thing to do? The effects on both candidates and on the outcome of the election for now will remain uncertain.
Citation: Epstein, Reid 2012 “Hurricane Sandy Aftermath” Politco http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1012/83067.html