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article imageFocusing on storm recovery instead of campaign could help Obama

By Can Tran     Oct 31, 2012 in Politics
Instead of hitting the campaign trail, US President Obama is focusing on recovery efforts. A recent tracking poll launched gives good news for Obama.

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United States President Barack Obama, who is running for re-election against Republican nominee Mitt Romney, is touring New Jersey for damage assessment caused at the hands of Hurricane Sandy which became a superstorm after combining with the nor'easter. Obama is touring the damage, along with New Jersey governor Chris Christie, who is a Republican and a key political ally to Romney. A Financial Times article, posted a few hours ago, calls this a “rare truce” during the US elections. In short, Hurricane Sandy can affect the 2012 Elections on a matter of issues. Keep in mind that Election Day is on Tuesday, November 6.
Obama has canceled the last few days of campaigning to instead focus on storm recovery. As mentioned earlier, Obama is currently touring New Jersey with Governor Christie to assess the damage. The two of them had nothing but praise for each other in regards to the response to Hurricane Sandy. Today, Obama was supposed to go campaigning in Ohio which is a crucial battleground state for the elections. While the ads are still playing, Obama will not be there due to the storm recovery efforts. On top of that, Obama urged people to give contributions to the American Red Cross.
According to Democrats in Ohio, Obama's decision is understandable. But, there is this question: Will sacrificing those days of campaigning for the storm recovery effort play a negative role to Obama in the days coming to Election Day?
Romney, currently in Florida, talked about how he would change America if elected. He did not use this opportunity to make any attacks on Obama. Florida Senator Marco Rubio and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush were with Romney. Bush, on the other hand, went on the offensive on Obama for blaming weak economic conditions on former US President George W. Bush.
Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart also made his own attack on Obama citing both Egypt and Libya.
Attacking Obama while he's busy with storm recovery efforts could hurt the Republicans in the future. Recently, ABC News and the Washington Post released results from their latest joint tracking poll. According to the poll, Obama is getting very high positive reception in dealing with Hurricane Sandy.
Almost eight out of every 10 voters are giving praise to Obama. That includes the 2/3 of voters that are supporting Romney. This could be the needed boost that Obama and the Democrats could use as Election Day draws near.
In a Yahoo! News article, posted recently, the ratings Obama received are higher than that of his predecessor George W. Bush.
With the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy and the current recovery efforts going on, there is the question of FEMA's role. This could prove to be harmful to Romney in the days coming. According to a recent blog entry on News Busters, this could very much be true. FEMA and Hurricane Sandy could be used as ammo by Democrats to use against Republicans in the future.
In a GOP primary debate, back in 2011, there was the implication that Romney would go away with FEMA. There was the implication that under Romney's administration, FEMA's responsibilities would be pushed to the individual states and the private sector.
A Washington Post blog, published on October 30, says that FEMA will have a reduction in funding next year; but, there are great contrasts. Under Obama, FEMA's funding would go down by three percent. Under Romney and Paul Ryan, FEMA's funding would go down by forty percent.
According to Paul Krugman, the thought of doing away with FEMA is “pathological.”
Michael Brown, the former director of FEMA under George W. Bush, was recently on a radio interview on the Young Turks. According to Brown, FEMA under post-9/11 and George W. Bush was in disarray. He even weighed in on Romney on the possibility of doing away with FEMA. Brown said that Romney, if elected, will realize that FEMA is needed.
Brown, nicknamed “Brownie” and “Heckuva Job,” has been criticized for his role in FEMA when Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast in 2005. Also, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was also criticized for his response to Katrina.
Also, Brown has recently given criticism to Obama for “responding so quickly” to Hurricane Sandy. Craig Fugate, the current administrator to FEMA, responded to Brown by saying that it's better to act fast than to act late.
Recently, Romney's campaign explained that FEMA played a crucial role. According to Romney's campaign, Romney believes the states should be in charge of emergency management in their own jurisdictions.
As a result, FEMA could end up being the next hot topic in the days getting close to Election Day. In a CNN video, Richard Socarides and George Pataki were sparring giving their own two cents in regards to FEMA.
According to a GOP strategist, FEMA should close.
It seems highly likely that FEMA is now going to be a major political topic in the last few days of the election cycle.
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