President Barack Obama, who had been campaigning in Florida as Hurricane Sandy began to batter states in the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast, has canceled further events in the Sunshine State in order to return to Washington, according to a dispatch sent out by the White House this morning.
“Due to deteriorating weather conditions in the Washington, DC area, the President will not attend today’s campaign event in Orlando, Florida,” Jay Carney, Mr. Obama’s press secretary, announced. “The President will return to the White House to monitor the preparations for and early response to Hurricane Sandy.”
Additionally, in a subsequent press release, Mr. Carney announced Mr. Obama’s Tuesday plans have also been scuttled, stating, “The President will no longer travel to Green Bay, WI tomorrow for a campaign event, so that he can stay in Washington, DC on Tuesday and closely monitor the impact of and response to Hurricane Sandy.”
The president’s Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, also had to adjust his schedule to avoid campaigning in states where emergency resources are needed for storm response efforts. Mr. Obama’s position, however, may be much more politically beneficial to him as he manages a crisis just seven days before voters head to the polls.
“If there is a serious disaster in the next few days anywhere on the Eastern seaboard, no one talks about Romney then,” the Brookings Institution’s John Hudak explained to the Fiscal Times. “Romney is no part of any story, except, of course, I’m sure he’ll hold a press conference to speak on the tragedy, as anyone would do as the challenger. But all eyes are on the president. It’s something money can’t buy.”
Update (10:19 a.m.): Mr. Obama’s Tuesday cancellation was added.