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US President Barack Obama steps off Air Force One October 29, 2012 upon arrival at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. Obama cancelled his appearance at a campaign rally in Orlando, Florida and returned early to Washington, DC to monitor response to Hurricane Sandy. Much of the eastern United States was in lockdown mode October 29, 2012 awaiting the arrival of a hurricane dubbed 'Frankenstorm' that threatened to wreak havoc on the area with storm surges, driving rain and devastating winds.
The seemingly never ending election of 2012 has seen many twists and turns, but now mother nature has gotten in on the act and thrown a colossal storm into the mix. Hurricane Sandy is expected to make landfall somewhere on America’s heavily populated Eastern seaboard later today and the giant storm has already snarled travel and prompted evacuations and closures in many states – among them the battleground states of Florida, Virginia and New Hampshire.
Both candidates have been reluctant to score political points in the hours before Sandy hits en force - campaign events have been cancelled and President Obama made his way back to Washington to switch from campaign to leadership mode – but will the truce hold once the wind have died down and the waters recede? Sandy provides sitting president Barack Obama with an opportunity to look and act presidential, provided FEMA and other government agencies don’t have a sequel to President George W. Bush’s widely panned response to Katrina in 2005. But Mitt Romney’s campaign has been surging with Election Day a week from tomorrow.
What kind of effect will Hurricane Sandy have on the campaigns in these crucial final days? How will Romney and Obama’s responses to Sandy’s destruction affect voters?
Mike Allen, chief political correspondent, Politico