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

    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

    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

    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

    Comment number 83.

    Regarding BBC partiality or lack of it - it seems that the people are now so firmly entrenched in their views that unless those views are parrotted back at them verbatim they see "bias".

    The fact that MM gets accused by both sides as biased seems to support that.

    Fox News on the other hand are bat s**t crazy and a disgrace to journalism.

  • rate this

    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


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