Hurricane Sandy: Growing seriousness of storm threat

President Obama boards flight to return from Orlando

President Obama was in Florida overnight, but he has pulled out of Monday's planned event in the state with former President Bill Clinton.

He's going straight back to the White House to monitor the course of Hurricane Sandy owing to "deteriorating weather conditions in the Washington area".

It may be simply that he doesn't want to get stranded.

But it may also be that he thought it would sound inappropriate to make a campaign speech which would have to have attacked his opponent and sounded at least a little upbeat.

It is a sign of the growing seriousness of the threat. All yesterday the president's plans changed, first cancelling events, then putting them back in the programme, then cancelling them again.

While no-one really knows whether this storm will create chaos or full-scale national catastrophe, the political effects are already being felt.

Spotlight on Obama

In one sense it stops, freezes, the campaign at this point. The candidates won't be talking and if they were, the media wouldn't be spending much time reporting what they said.

But in another sense it puts the president, the leader of the country, centre stage. It's an unequal platform, though, and Mitt Romney may find himself pushed off it while the drama unfolds.

The spotlight is on Mr Obama. The president gets to display his mettle, to show what sort of a leader he is.

He is also the number one target if the government reaction is slow, inadequate or simply, dangerously, if there is suffering that they can't relieve.

We are all nervous about this storm. We all hope there will be no loss of life. But for the two men vying for the White House, it may spell the difference between political survival and extinction.

Mark Mardell Article written by Mark Mardell Mark Mardell Presenter, The World This Weekend

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  • rate this

    Comment number 56.

    @52. BluesBerry
    Please tell me you are joking
    You actually think that the storm was redirected at the US for political gain.

    And you're posting this on the BBC ?

    Seriously ..

    There are fairies at the bottom of my garden

    Education is wonderful thing you know
    It allows for a skeptical and reasoned look at life unlike indoctrination which seems to produce only the Gullible

  • rate this

    Comment number 55.

    54. Lou Cypher
    People across the pond are just that, across the pond and not here.

    But people across the pond were you point in the previous post.
    I thought you needed clarification as why they saw things that way as you didn't seem to know.
    As for Clinton Bernake & Panetta resigning if the Pres is re Elected.
    A truly laughable slant on reality

  • rate this

    Comment number 54.

    People across the pond are just that, across the pond and not here. Yes, Obama was not a "Bush"; was young promising hope & change, & had a Kennedyesque aura about him. But since 2008 all of that has changed. Even his wide-eyed Independent supporters of '08 have jumped ship. Secretaries Clinton, Bernanke, & Panetta have all stated they will resign if Obama gets reelected.

  • rate this

    Comment number 53.

    @52. I agree, however Haarp could also be being used by other countries on the U.S.
    Also I thought the U.S. had technology for many years now that can deal with Hurricanes to stop or weaken them significantly, why isn't it being used ??
    I am concerned about the nuclear power stations, it seems back up power systems for anything these days just don't seem to work when needed. It's ridiculous !!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 52.

    I don't know for sure; no one can know for sure, but it seems to me that this storm acts in Obama's favor in that he gets to look Presidential while Romney just sort of disappears.
    I have to wonder about HAARP - weather manipulation - the perfect storm at the perfect time for Obama - planned?


Comments 5 of 56



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