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

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US Presidential Election 2012


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  • rate this

    Comment number 40.

    'some people think Mark is pro-Obama'

    No, really?!!

    'I don't think Mark could report more negatively about Obama if he tried!

    Yes, there is a well known right-wing bias at the BBC which has been documented at length in the media throughout history!!! Hilarious.

  • rate this

    Comment number 39.

    Really, Mark? Another blatantly pro-Romney article. They're coming thick and fast. I've read on here some people think Mark is pro-Obama, but from my British perespective, I don't think Mark could report more negatively about Obama if he tried!

  • rate this

    Comment number 38.

    An extremely costly & ugly US election needs to wrap up so world can move on. Considering all the news from everywhere arriving today, I urge all with nostalgia for a past that is No More to remember that not too long ago some were predicting End of World As We Know It. Well, it did not end.The real crises are nowhere near the scale even of WW2. That's the good news.But please live in Real Present

  • rate this

    Comment number 37.

    MM: "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."

    When I pointed earlier that costly presidents' visits in emergency areas make real rescue professionals' job only more difficult (huge security and PR entourages, large areas blocked, etc. - some took offense. Why? Not true?

  • Comment number 36.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 35.

    31 MK

    Well, I'll get up the next day, have breakfast, go for a walk, read the news. Then, depending on the weather, I'll split and stack some wood or work on my kitchen remodel project. Of course, I'll hope for a stock market bounce.

  • rate this

    Comment number 34.


    "Who brings no hope of better, only risk of much worse?"

    A risk already realised for many. But the victims of Sandy, as with Katrina before, are not successful people, cannot pay their way, do not deserve state welfare...


    "vote Obama!"

    The BBC is not aimed at a US audience, as the name implies. We non-US citizens simply watch the car crash in horror from the sidelines.

  • rate this

    Comment number 33.


    Yup. Got that same message from the New Jersey governor. Must be right. Doing an excellent job.

  • rate this

    Comment number 32.

    The numbers show a probable win for Obama. But recent momentum for Romney, which narrowed the gap, has Obama concerned enough to go west, rather than capitalize on photo ops in crippled blue states NJ or NY. No matter what your political affiliation, it is a lesson on any political animal.

    When they're cheering the win next week, the name Sandy may bring smiles to many of them. Not here in NJ....

  • rate this

    Comment number 31.

    ref #25
    I don't recall claiming bias, just saying I don't know who the people claiming Obama is still ahead are.

    As far as Obama winning which unlike most Obots I can see the race going one way or the other. I'' go to work the next day and watch as little TV as possible. Now considering the talking points and lies about voter supression what will you do if Romney wins?

  • rate this

    Comment number 30.

    'As it was, it seems he was generally judged to have done a good job.'

    So have you got the message yet from the BBC coverage? Obama is really super - vote for Barry! (Not those awful republicans). In fact even republicans like him, and he's so much better than that guy Romney. So go out and vote Obama!

  • rate this

    Comment number 29.

    ComradeOgilvy @23
    "almost as if"
    Sandy, surge on a greater swell

    Suspect scion, 'a comradely Ogilvy', thanks for the reminder!

    The global economy - as ever - 'shakes down' and 'comes back'

    New frenzies will distract from cause-in-common of disasters past & disasters 'around the corner'

    Who will ride 'the wave' of this pitiful recovery?

    Who brings no hope of better, only risk of much worse?

  • rate this

    Comment number 28.


    Ypu gotta stop trying to write right-wing lies. You are wasting your time, and living up to the Republican stereotype: FOS, and full of hatred.

  • Comment number 27.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 26.

    All those who do not want a third Middle East war will not vote the Romney - Netanyahu ticket and thus avoid more destruction and American deaths than Sandy inflicted.

  • rate this

    Comment number 25.

    22 MK

    A bit hypocritical of you to criticize others facts.

    What are you going to do if Obama is reelected? I can offer some suggestions if you like.

  • rate this

    Comment number 24.


    Cinematically trained in survival, 'Diehard' gullibility need perhaps 'just one more smoke' of whatever makes Romney smile in campaign sleep

    But TV & Gov Christie may have taught

    If mighty US East Coast can have 'reason to be glad of federal assistance', how much more reason for 'states in front-line of climate-change' to wish federal readiness, eggs kept in more than one basket?

  • rate this

    Comment number 23.

    Nice that he took time off from campaigning to do a bit of Presidenting.

    Nicer still that he managed to do so whilst getting a campaign message across.

    It's almost as if the US can run itself. Except for the economy. Or the wars. Or the poverty.

  • rate this

    Comment number 22.

    ref #17 and 18

    Typical Romney/Bush bashing with no facts. Bush stayed out the way so disaster professionals could do their job. Romney is far more presidential than this phony Obama.
    ref #19 Don't know the two people you mentioed by dick Morris and Karl Rove both predict victory for Romney

  • rate this

    Comment number 21.

    On Tuesday, Obama faces a widow-maker election. He goes to the ballot, in his words, "with no mo' money" as a cheap reference to poor national revenue, inefficiency, and federal debt. Democrats are urged to stand strong and hold together, despite the impending doom of this regime.


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