|President Obama onlooking the devastation of Hurricane Sandy|
The warm winds of the red Republican’s campaign garners strength as it comes to a collision with the cool blue tones of the Democratic campaign. Obama seems to epitomize the social issues of America, whereas Romney seems to focus on the fiscal and economic issues. They circle each other in a calculated, mechanical, and biting Viennese Waltz. Growing closer and closer, until the impact is inevitable. A hailstorm of biting rhetoric, memes mocking both candidates swiftly breeze through the net, chaotic showers of them discrediting the other, and overall calamity. Below this turbulent political storm is a nation storm torn and weathered. Is it irony that the political atmosphere and meteorological one reflect each other so perfectly? With the onset of Hurricane Sandy, many meteorologists expected the storm to escalate and manage to hit the Atlantic coast of the United States. With a speculated 90% chance of this happening, President Obama signed off on emergency declarations of various Northeastern states including Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. Some political scientists speculate that Hurricane Sandy will primarily affect the Romney campaign; whereas, others speculate that it will affect the Obama campaign. Lastly, a few political scientists believe it will effect neither.
|Romney's changing stance on FEMA has caused some controversy.|
With the announcement of the hurricane hitting the east coast, civilians of America have recoiled into their homes. Romney is no different and has canceled several of his campaigns in Ohio and Virginia. Not only has he had to cancel campaign rallies, but he also has to deal with the returning case of his Romnesia and his statements regarding Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). In June of 2011, approximately four months ago, at a Republican primary debate in New Hampshire a question was evoked by John King of CNN. The question entailed the Romney's belief of states responding to emergencies, Romney responded by saying "Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that's the right decision. And if you can go even further and send it back to the private sectors, that's even better." Romney has retracted this statement, arguing that his intention was not as cold and mechanical as it seems and that he fully supports the North Atlantic states during this time of trial and terror. Another problematic element to the hurricane's effect on Romney is that there has been an increased focus on social issues and the idea of a tender "Comforter-in-chief". GOP Strategist, Karl Rove, told the Washington Post, "If you hadn't had the storm, there would have been more of a chance for the Romney campaign to talk about the deficit, the debt, and the economy. There was a stutter in the campaign. When you have attention drawn away to somewhere else, to something else, it is not to his [Romney's] advantage."Not only this, but the Hurricane is shielding critical states to the Republican campaign from rather important rallies. In Virginia and North Carolina, the polls are very hard to get to and many are critical if voters will make the voyage. Also parts of Ohio will be effected by this. Although, there are plenty of notable damages the hurricane is causing the Romney campaign- there has been some benefits to the campaign. For example, a 2007 study in the Journal of Politics stated that bad weather tends to benefit Republicans. Also, Romney has been doing a relief campaign in Ohio providing food and other necessities. He reportedly spoke for less than five minutes stating, "It was just amazing to see the turnout. It's part of the American way." This benevolent, humanitarian image will undeniably add some human aspects to his image. Mary McGirr, a 63 year old resident of Ohio, stated "I thought it was very presidential- not political. I think it gave people a feeling of helping out." The storm has been a vice and virtue of Romney's campaign.
|Critics have called this "the image that will reelect Obama"|
As the storm rages on and eventually dwindles- the presidential elections will come to a close and a decision will be made. Some say the storm will have a meaningless effect since it is primarily affecting safety states for the Democrats. Others argue differently. A 2004 study suggests that people blame government officials for natural disasters like such stating that it is some form of a punishment. If that is the case, then let a commandment arise that 'thou presidential candidates will not slander each other and use polarized techniques'. There are only a few more days until the presidential election must come to a close and after that happens, will the storm clear? Will we see the damaged nation lying below this stratosphere of chaos and calamity? This is a very close elections with numbers faltering between 48-52% of the people voting for Obama and the other half voting for Romney. Every detail must be accounted for at this point. It is up to November 6th to put an end to this storm. Some may argue that this hurricane did nothing to the election's turnout. However, perhaps this hurricane has helped civilians gain insight into the presidential candidates. As Arthur Golden stated, "Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are." Maybe, the American public can see the values that they have needed to see and the candidates for who they can truly be.