These days, we seem to see everything through the lens of the presidential election — even a potentially catastrophic storm like Hurricane Sandy.
Rather than focusing on the storm and its potential human cost, much of the media buzz today seemed to be about how the storm would affect the campaign. Would Sandy interrupt Mitt Romney’s apparent momentum? Would it allow the President to be “presidential” and therefore give him an advantage? Would Mitt Romney continue to campaign and risk a backlash from disgusted voters? Would the storm delay the release of economic figures on Friday, or be used as an excuse to delay the release? Could the disruption caused the storm and potential power outages affect early voting, or cause the President order some kind of delay of Election Day?
In this instance, the politicians showed better sense than the nattering talking heads. President Obama — who is our current President, after all — canceled his campaign appearances and focused on doing his job in connection with the hurricane and disaster preparedness. Mitt Romney canceled his campaign appearances, suspended fundraising activities in the affected areas, asked supporters to help victims of the storm, and turned his campaign offices in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Virginia into centers for collection of relief supplies. The candidates and their campaigns, at least, recognize that there are more important things than squeezing in a few more campaign appearances when a dangerous storm is hurting some of our fellow Americans.
It makes you that maybe there’s some hope that our political leaders, ultimately, have their priorities straight, even if the news media doesn’t.