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The Storm Before the Storm

In the wake of Sandy's destruction, some questions to consider about next Tuesday.

So Hurricane Sandy (now a post-tropical storm) has devastated the northeastern portion of the United States, inflicting massive damage via wind, rain and snow. New York is a mess, New Jersey is an official emergency state, and places like Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky have seen as much as a foot of snow (and are likely to see more). Seventeen have been confirmed dead so far, and millions are without power or basic services.

Naturally, this is the perfect time to talk politics.

To wit:

  1. How big of an advantage will President Obama gain by overseeing the storm's aftermath? He's going to be working feverishly, I'm sure, to guarantee that the people most affected by Sandy's wrath are given every type of assistance possible. Will people see that as him being presidential, thus giving him an upswing? Or might some people see it as him leveraging a national crisis by potentially buying votes with public funds?
  2. Will the storm affect voter turnout in the New York/New Jersey area? Honestly, most people have a hard time getting off work to go vote in the best of circumstances. Will people who are trying to put their lives back together really feel that compelled to drag themselves to the polls to cast a ballot? Will Sandy produce a "Big Picture" malaise that might turn the election?
  3. Only a moron would try campaigning during a time of national crisis, and both campaigns have called off events in the damaged areas and gone dormant for a bit. Of course, the president's campaign isn't completely inactive because he is busy being the president, which means his name and his actions are being seen and heard by anyone watching the news. But how will this affect Mitt Romney's campaign? He risks a steep tumble in the polls if he's perceived as trying to capitalize on a national emergency; how will a temporary stop in his overall campaign affect his overall numbers?
  4. And lastly, after months of rhetoric, hyperbole, spin, and good old fashioned mud-flinging, we're reminded that the fate of our nation is always tied to the fate of her people. After seeing the destructive power of nature on our shores, are we as the American people really going to be able to stomach two men claiming that if elected they will be able to solve our national problems, when quite clearly there is always more at stake in our world than any one man can control?

Just some thoughts for a Pot-Stirring Tuesday. Of course, the biggest Pot-Stir will be the fact that I even wrote about politics while so many of our fellow citizens struggle to find their footing this morning. For that, I offer my sincerest apologies.

May those affected by Sandy be found safe, secure and well-cared for.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Sharon Swanepoel October 30, 2012 at 03:05 PM
While our thoughts and prayers obviously go out to those impacted by the storm, the only real good thing so far to come out of it is that it appears to have taken politics off the table completely - at least for now. I'm sure that will change in a couple of days, but I haven't seen any headlines on any channels about either of our candidates today - except of course for our question of the day and this blog by you. :)
Jason Brooks October 30, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Obviously the nation needs to be reminded of what's really important: heated political rhetoric that divides us. Who needs the whole "united by difficult times" thing in an election year?
Jason Brooks October 30, 2012 at 03:59 PM
BTW - I still hate my new auto-approved powers.
Sharon Swanepoel October 30, 2012 at 04:59 PM
I'm sorry, do you really want to see about returning to the old way? I hate you being unhappy!
Jason Brooks October 30, 2012 at 05:06 PM
I'll email you and spare anyone who might accidentally read this post. :)
Kent Clarke November 08, 2012 at 06:44 PM
Nice read Jason. I've had relatives that have been affected by the storm and its really sad, so I pray for all those out there that are still trying to get there feet back on the ground. Politics will always be politics and since Obama got back in, his entire focus now should be on those victims of the storm and trying to help them. Focus on home, focus on the people, rebuild and move forward. kent - http://www.mautostore.com

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