Much the same as Hurricane Katrina was a defining moment of the George W. Bush presidency so was Hurricane Sandy for Barack Obama. While Mitt Romney was moving steadily in the polls, when the Northeast was pounded by Sandy it froze the 2012 presidential campaign. Barack Obama only needed to appear compassionate and, more importantly, presidential to reset the election.

It’s always difficult to unseat an incumbent, and even more so when the White House is involved; but a weak economy and high unemployment created an opportunity for the GOP to retake the presidency.

Obama wins re-election

President Obama carried a lead in all polls from the minute Romney cinched the nomination.

After Romney chose Paul Ryan as his running mate there was a slight movement towards Romney, with an emphasis on “slight.” The bump Ryan bought Romney only narrowed the president’s lead in the polls.

Romney picked up between three and six percentage points from the GOP convention that quickly evaporated after the DNC convention just a week later; heading into September very little had altered the trends of the election.

The big change in this election happened after the first debate. Romney took it to Obama in the first debate and Obama played a lackluster defensive game. While Obama was more animated in the second and third debates Romney maintained his momentum.

As things moved in Romney’s direction, only an October surprise could upset Romney’s path towards the presidency and Mother Nature provided it in the form of Hurricane Sandy.

Romney’s momentum came to a shrieking halt when Sandy devastated the Northeast. For three days both campaigns ceased all public events in deference to those suffering in New Jersey and New York; but in reality only Romney’s public appearances were halted as President Obama got wall-to-wall coverage on his visits to the hurricane ravaged areas of New Jersey.

Chris Christie gave Obama what no one else could or would provide: a venue for appearing presidential; Christie offered the most partisan president of our lifetimes the opportunity to appear above the fray. What, if any ramifications this will have upon Christie’s political career remains to be seen.

For those three days Obama and the left-wing press changed the trajectory of the race and Romney never recovered. Despite having the better closing argument Romney never regained the momentum he’d lost and in the end the race returned to where it was during the summer.

Obama never gave any details on how he’d govern in his second term; now we’ll all learn the hard way.

Perhaps this election was cast long ago when the GOP nominated a governor from a northeast state who had dubious Conservative credentials; but in the end when you can’t defeat a man running with the dismal record of Barack Obama you probably don’t deserve the role of President.


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