The old saying that 'a week in politics is a lifetime' has never been more true. Last week at this time, Mitt Romney was riding a continuing wave of momentum emerging from his debate performances and he had drawn virtually even with President Obama. Although after the nightmare of Tropical Storm Sandy, one has to wonder, was Sandy a Democrat? From the look of it, it sure seemed so!
The Media Coverage of 'Superstorm Sandy'
Although Sandy wreaked even greater devastation than the worst forecasts had predicted, it turned out to be a 'gift' to the television news and cable TV networks - notably CNN which - in full OJ Simpson coverage mode- dined out on every morsel of the catastrophe unfolding in New York City, the Jersey Shore and throughout hundreds of miles of devastation.
|Michael Moore takes on CNN's coverage|
Impressions of Obama
The President had looked particularly negative and somewhat churlish in the first debate. Where had the aura of 2008 gone? That was the question that many were asking - until this week, when
|Obama visits FEMA|
|Gov. Christie Goes Bipartisan|
|The President Comforts a Victim|
|Romney Accepts Storm Donations|
Romney had to tread a very fine line - not being partisan, while continuing to campaign in swing states. He made the best of it - first of all by cancelling rallies in New Hampshire or any other state hit by Sandy. The next thing he did was to invite people coming to his rallies to bring non-perishable food or donate to the Red Cross. Whenever he spoke it was with a mostly bi-partisan script - talking about "reaching across the aisle" and working with "good Democrats and good Republicans" elected to Congress. That, of course, completed his transformation from a hard right conservative to 'moderate Mitt' that emerged in the debates. Even then, he had to fend off media coverage of his previous comments regarding the role of FEMA in emergencies. That was unwanted, awkward coverage for sure.
Did Romney make any errors? No. Did he gain ground? No.
Did Sandy hurt Romney's campaign? Yes.
On the evidence, you would have to conclude, there was indeed mild negative impact on Romney's campaign. Enough to possibly make a difference.
Sandy's Political Impact
|Bloomberg Endorses Obama|
So what does this mean for Election Day?
Although I have avoided the 'mug's game' of predicting a winner, I will say this: Obama has several 'swing state' avenues to the Electoral College victory. For Romney, it looks like he is limited to one path - winning Ohio and that is too close to call. Sandy played to Obama's strengths; turned the independent Mayor Bloomberg into a Democratic supporter and made the Republican Convention keynote- speaking New Jersey Governor a declared fan of the President. If Obama wins re-election - this may become known as the most incredible week in modern Presidential elections.
All that's missing now are - dare we say it? - 'hanging chads' in Florida. Nah!!! Couldn't happen!!!!
So with four days to go - only half a lifetime in politics - much can still happen.
Laura and I will be glued to the networks all Tuesday night. Maybe we'll see you on twitter.com/mclomedia and twitter.com/LauraPeck6 where we will be live tweeting the results.
Until next time....