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.

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US Presidential Election 2012


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  • rate this

    Comment number 140.

  • rate this

    Comment number 139.

    Not sure why anyone would think Romney has a handle on reality, he refers to allies and others in North Africa and the Mideast as "The Arab World".

  • rate this

    Comment number 138.

    "How long before the low risk of drones makes the use of force a first resort instead of the last?"

    Scott, I had doubts about using regular Army in Afghanistan, knowing terrain.

    Btw. Do you know that when Osama was in Tora-Bora, a CIA officer in the field who pinpointed him requested a single Special Forces' battalion ASAP to get him - and didn't get it? [the rest being history]

  • rate this

    Comment number 137.

    125. Comrade

    If the perception at home is more important than innocent lives
    abroad, there is a bigger problem.

    Do you believe for one second the Obama Administration's policy is not designed for public consumption? This is the same party that polled Americans to find the Iraq War unfavorable and then created a presidential platform opposing it.

    There's a reason drone use is secret.

  • rate this

    Comment number 136.

    The thing with drones is that they need to be used sensibly and soberly. They save pilots lives but they still kill.

    Compare US and UK attitudes:

  • rate this

    Comment number 135.

    127 Bengalman : Funny, I have been listening to "The Center for Strategic Studies" discussion with Gen Odierno (US Army Chief of Staff) and he does NOT agree with building up our navy to 500 ships
    We need to re-invigorate all of our armed forces, not build up one at the cost of others
    He has been very open about ALL of the Armed Services
    Try listening, it's on CSPAN
    I do not agree with you

  • rate this

    Comment number 134.

    Looney: Drone cars

    Jetsons, here we come ;)

    Truthfully drones scare me

    Maybe it was ever since I saw that movie Eagle Eye
    and you realize all the potential- good and bad- drones have

    Perhaps the thought of drones in USA being hacked into by our enemies

    When we see drones (+our military equipment used overseas in wars) being used in USA
    for me thats when the war will have come home

  • rate this

    Comment number 133.

    "And if you don't think Mr. Romney would have us in another war there, and in China, and in Russia, I have a bridge you may want to purchase."

    Romney is less likely to involve US in war than Obama. And no, I don't wish to buy the bridge you do not even own. "You didn't build that bridge. Someone else built it."

  • rate this

    Comment number 132.


    "What happens when everybody has drones+not just us?"

    Simple answer: You reap what you sow. And it's terribly bad form to complain (or call others 'terrorists').

    Let he who is without sin caste the first stone!

  • rate this

    Comment number 131.

    Oldloadr: failure deep behind enemy lines

    There's human lives+then there's technology

    When our drone was went down over Iran
    we did not lose any lives which was good

    But we did lose the drone's technology
    as Iran recovered it+
    showed it to China, Russia, etc

    What happens when everybody has drones+not just us?

  • rate this

    Comment number 130.

    This endorsement of Obama by a Republican senator and Vietnam veteran hits the nail on the head

  • rate this

    Comment number 129.

    103.AndreaNY :
    The president made a statement on Benghazi but refused to answer questions from the press. He quickly departed for a fund raiser in Las Vegas"
    I heard Jay Leno say that Mr Obama's policy on Benghazi-Gate is "Don't ask, don't tell."

  • rate this

    Comment number 128.

    116 LucyJ : Drones are a new reality
    They are being used for Airline Traffic Control right now
    The tests have gone very well so far
    Drones can be used or good purposes it will just take time to see who will utilize them, for instance Google can use them for mapping (Or Apple) Farmers for crop dusting & firefighters for forest fires
    Who knows where it will grow to
    ? Drone cars in 10 years

  • rate this

    Comment number 127.

    119.Looney Limey

    As a US Navy vet, I think Romney is 100% correct and you are wrong. A 280 ship American Navy is too small even with the latest technology. Under Reagan, we had a 500 ship Navy. The Joint Chiefs, if they could speak publicly, would, without question, rather have Pres. Romney than Obama. So would 2/3rds of our active duty military.

  • rate this

    Comment number 126.


    "And as for US national aircraft carrier: its always better to link with tugs that with thugs."

    Hello sailor! Yes, the yanks do seem to all pull together.
    Not exactly a sailor [nor tinker/tailor] but thanks nevertheless. :-)

    Btw. During WWII there was no such thing as USAF.

    Merely US Army's aerial outfit [Yeager flew in it, while my Dad in RAF]

  • rate this

    Comment number 125.


    "the other side of the coin is not just the risk of death but of failure deep behind enemy lines which makes great propaganda for our adversaries."

    And if they are being used within nominally friendly territory with civilian deaths, as they are? Does that provide for good press?

    If the perception at home is more important than innocent lives abroad, there is a bigger problem.

  • rate this

    Comment number 124.

    # 46 "Romney is going to have to repair the foreign policy damage that Obama has caused."
    Romney's approach to international diplomacy: Palestinians=terrorists, Britain=disorganised and incompetent planners, Russia=no. 1 threat to national security
    Romney's approach to domestic issues:
    Bankrupted car makers, unregulated banks, shut-down FEMA...

  • rate this

    Comment number 123.

    When it comes to defending ourselves from "Terrorism", I think we need to leave the Middle East. Let them waste their energy fighting each other. We have wasted more than enough money and lives there.

    And if you don't think Mr. Romney would have us in another war there, and in China, and in Russia, I have a bridge you may want to purchase.

    First words, then drones, then troops. Remember this.

  • rate this

    Comment number 122.

    "Please quote specific unemployment/economic growth figures corroborating you claim."

    There you go, more data than you can shake a stick at. Specifically I was thinking about recent house purchase / construction numbers and manufacturing output. Also the fall in unemployment from 9.5% to under 8% in last 12 months.

  • rate this

    Comment number 121.

    Your point is sound (there was even an original Star Trek episode that explored that thought). However, the other side of the coin is not just the risk of death but of failure deep behind enemy lines which makes great propaganda for our adversaries. Drones mitigate that issue.


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