Barack Obama returns to the election trail

 
President Barack Obama and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie visit the Brigantine Beach Community Center to meet with local residents, 31 October 2012 Barack Obama toured storm damage in New Jersey with Governor Chris Christie on Wednesday

President Obama came to New Jersey, saw the devastation but is now leaving in an attempt to conquer the swing states. It is an intriguing decision.

He's going back on the campaign trail on Thursday and will be keeping at it relentlessly for the next few days. The storm that has killed more than sixty people, destroyed homes and made life a misery for millions, has been a perilous political moment for the president.

Had he not left off campaigning, he would have been severely criticised for not taking charge in a crisis. Had he been seen to have failed to get a grip, if he had obviously been found wanting, that would probably have been the end of the election for him. As it was, it seems he was generally judged to have done a good job.

Not everyone wanted him.

The governor of New York asked him not to visit New York City, and the White House said they had decided already that a presidential visit would strain resources. So instead he went to New Jersey.

He stood side by side with the blunt speaking New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who again stated his gratitude for the president's help with the emergency.

Gov Christie is a fascinating guy. He has an appeal across the party divide and prides himself on telling uncomfortable truths. Over the last few days, his words have been uncomfortable for Mitt Romney, as he repeats thanks that the president has cut through red tape.

His view is not exactly the party line.

All this might make you think that the president might have spent another day above the fray, but he is heading out west, where it seems his team think supporters may need a little personal encouragement to vote.

 
Mark Mardell, North America editor Article written by Mark Mardell Mark Mardell North America editor

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US Presidential Election 2012

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  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 20.

    Well done, no doubt

    BHO back to campaign

    US out of Iraq, soon from Kabul

    Jobs climbing, & Sandy out-faced

    God 'dishes-out', we 'bounce back'

    Except for the dead, maimed, ruined, devastated

    America derides but exhibits 'own brand' of fatalism

    Focus of address too much on promise of 'fast buck'

    How else explain running-sore of US inequality?

    Collective re-entry to pre-World-War temper

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 19.

    Probably Obama did what he did i.e. his job, because he knew what was at stake - his job.

  • rate this
    +12

    Comment number 18.

    @9 At least he toured the disaster area, George Bush merely gazed at it (Hurricane Katrina) from the window of Air Force One. He showed he is a leader and a commander in chief, his job and lets face it, he looked a darn sight better and more natural with those people in that terrible situation that Romney ever could.

  • rate this
    +7

    Comment number 17.

    Nice to see that Mitt is being shown for the fraud that he is, that his staff have desperately tried to hide him from. The simple fact that he would gut disaster relief if elected and that it should be handed over to the private sector (the insurance companies) Its time to show him up for that embarrassing ad - 'Load of Bull' and to convince independents Obama is the way forward. Even with CC help

  • rate this
    -11

    Comment number 16.

    15-c) 18 jobs bills presented to the Dem Senate plus the budget and the Senate won't even bring them up for a vote. Talk about can't compromise! Left-wing keeps trying the same socialist ideas that keep failing. The definition of insanity, I believe.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 15.

    Some things cristallise as this contest draws to a close a) Nobody controls everything. Not just natural forces but economic and social trends don't lend themselves to surefire overnight solutions b) Human acivities may not indisputably cause growth of climatic uncertainty and disaster, but we had definitely better act as if they do c) Right-wing America believes fairy tales and can't compromise.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 14.

    Thought Christie was a thug insulting constituents to silence criticism, but he seems truly affected by the destruction of NJ coast. He has a heart.

    Obama is wise to go on campaigning. Mid west voters will be less affected by Obama's handling of Sandy.

    The proactive governor of NY is planning for further hurricanes. NYC is on low ground. Subways vulnerable with extremes of climate change

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 13.

    Hillary is one tough cookie. She's like Putin in a polyester pant suit

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 12.

    During the Democrate's primary debate in 2008 Hillary Clinton raised the question whether Obama was competent to handle a 3-am phone call. The Banghazi phone call came in the afternoon on 11 September 2012, with real time terrorism images too. Nothing happened. Obama claimed in the United Nations two weeks later that the violence was a result of anti-Mohamad video. Just ignore the call Hillary!

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 11.

    People have to remember that natural calamities such as earthquakes and hurricanes are not under control of mankind, and thus should not effect political views, unless not enough was done to help victims effected by disaster, however wars are political and no matter how you go about your wars, lives are lost and never enough will be done to repair the damage, Mentally, so vote for consistency!

  • rate this
    -5

    Comment number 10.

    Look on the bright side, after the storm Obama finally has some "shovel ready" jobs!

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 9.

    Mr. Obama made a very calculated decision to go on the walk about with Gov. Christie. Mr. Christie has been a critic of the Obama policies and now to be seen singing his praise may actually swing some "undecided" voters. Obama plays well the role of the savior of the victim. Federal money would have come in any case.

  • rate this
    +10

    Comment number 8.

    The predictive markets are now moving rapidly upwards in Obama's favor, with Intrade at 69 for the President to win, against 31 for Romney, more than 2 to 1 in favor of Obama. Reliable polls for Ohio indicate a clear lead for Obama, as well as leads in Florida and Virginia. Most importantly, early votes for Obama in swing states greatly exceed best scenarios for Romney. Obama to win +300 EVs.

  • rate this
    +11

    Comment number 7.

    The recent congeniality between Christie and Obama is political gold for Obama. You see, not all Romney supporters are solidly in his camp. A certain small percentage are perhaps unhappy with his lack of principles and flip-flopping, but still think of him as the lesser of two evils. This plants the seed. It gives them an excuse to switch. In a close race, a small shift can secure the election.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 6.

    For the Presdent to win the 2nd term Obama has to lead from the center & stop blaming the past for the 2008 Change he promised not fully accomplished. His handling of Hurricane Sandy is a good start & for the momentem to continue he has to work with people with by Partisan Vision.

  • Comment number 5.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this
    -7

    Comment number 4.

    One wishes there was a BBC Washington correspondent who reports the news, instead of playing wiseacre, and actively campaigning against one candidate.

  • Comment number 3.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 2.

    I wonder if Mark Mardel has maintained his impartiality in this election maybe this job brings too much emotion with it! I never real feel he gives Obama a fair deal.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 1.

    Not everyone wanted him....well ain't that the truth. It really seems to me Mark that you don't want him either. I really doubt the election hinged on his 'commander-in-chief' act though, because so many people have made their mind up already and the economy has not gone anywhere in the last week. The media are hyped up with this, as you expect. But folks will vote pretty much the same, I reckon.

 

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