The morning after Hurricane Sandy, there was a cartoon in the New York Post with a man jumping for joy underneath clouds painted with the Romney-Ryan logo.
If Romney supporters are indeed jubilant, their joy will be short-lived, particularly upon hearing the praise heaped on President Barack Obama by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a staunch Romney supporter.
“It’s been very good working with the president,” Christie said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “He and his administration have been coordinating with us. It’s been wonderful.”
There was also a grateful tweet from the governor, who said “I want to thank the president personally for all his assistance as we recover from the storm.”
Meanwhile, Romney, mustering all the solemnity he could on a muted campaign stop in Kettering, Ohio, told the crowd, “We have heavy hearts, as you know, with all the suffering going on in a major part of our country, a lot of people hurting this morning.”
And one of them has to be Romney, who said he had not spoken to the president but had spoken to some of the governors impacted by Sandy, though there was no mention of Christie.
Within several days, Romney has experienced two blows to his run. The first occurred last week when prominent Republican Colin Powell endorsed Obama. Christie obviously wasn’t throwing his support behind Obama’s bid for office, but it may moisten the eyes of a man struggling to find ways to take advantage of the hurricane.
But that may be futile, since Obama has the spotlight as he takes steps via FEMA to assist the states damaged by the hurricane. Romney is handicapped by the storm because he can’t campaign or raise funds in key battleground states.
Even so, Obama may not benefit either, since the storm ripped through mainly blue states, especially New York, where a recent poll shows the president has a winning margin of 2 million votes. Extensive power outages and storm-related obstacles, however, could severely hamper his legion of voters, as is also the case in Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina.
Sandy or no Sandy, these last few days may be about momentum, and the Obama camp is fully aware of the mounting intensity from the GOP ranks.
Voters would be wise to recall 2000 and 2004, when Bush was able to take the White House–back then, the polls were beginning to register the same kind of turnabout.
Clearly, the Obama campaign is not resting on the good words of Gov. Christie or the endorsement by Powell.
One thing in Obama’s favor is Mitt Romney, and let’s see if the King of Gaffe can make it to the finish line without tripping over the foot in his mouth.