As President Obama and Mitt Romney navigate the treacherous politics of running a late-stage presidential campaign in the wake of a massive natural disaster, both are carefully trying to make themselves appear to be focused on the wreckage of storm Sandy rather than the race.
On Tuesday, Mitt Romney turned a campaign rally in Ohio into a “storm relief event.” The president cancelled his appearances for Tuesday and Wednesday, though surrogates are holding events. Both campaigns will surely be looking to capture the images that make their candidates appear presidential at a time of crisis (think George W. Bush on the pile of rubble after 9/11, not peering out of an airplane after Hurricane Katrina).
But no photo opp in the world can top the praise of a job well done that comes from an affected, outspoken governor from the other party. In comments that perfectly encapsulated not only the severity of the storm but the divisiveness of our national politics and the bluntness of the speaker, New Jersey governor Chris Christie—primetime GOP convention speaker and frequent campaign surrogate for Mitt Romney—heaped praise on Obama’s initial reaction to the storm.