Hurricane Sandy has tossed politics into a whirlwind. Now that the skies are clearing and the damage assessment is beginning, everyone will look to the federal government and the generosity of American citizens for assistance.
There has not been a total damage assessment announced to date but local hurricane veterans know it will be in the billions of dollars. Insurance companies will embark on their traditional approach of partial payment through a variety of avenues and many homeowners and businesses will find themselves unable to fund repairs.
The President moved immediately to provide support from FEMA and to lessen the burden of providing federal support. Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey responded gratefully to the President and thanked him and his team for their prompt attention and support. As we know, the President is a Democrat and the Governor of New Jersey is a Republican.
The media immediately jumped on Governor Christie’s words and made it into a huge story. As a veteran of storm recovery efforts, I simply heard a weary Governor who hadn’t slept in the last 48 hours thanking the people in D.C. for their support of his battered state. He is primarily concerned with making sure the people in his state get the support they need.
In fact, Governor Christie was one of the toughest leaders I’ve ever heard during a storm of this type. He directly told people that if they chose to remain in evacuation zones, he would not put first responders at risk to rescue them. But he still remained compassionate throughout the crisis.
Again, as a storm weary veteran, I and many others along the Gulf Coast know that the true work begins now. They literally have to get the trains running again, the hospitals back along and deal with the large number of people rendered homeless by the storm and storm-related events. They will need assistance from all over the country to achieve these goals.
Governor Romney has mostly remained classy during this crisis as well. He has been using his campaign rallies to raise funds and collect food for the Red Cross. But alas, a national crisis has shifted focus off of the campaign.
Isn’t a relief to put politics aside for a couple of days and watch our national and state leadership work together to address this unprecedented weather event?
Will it affect the election? Most likely. Who does it benefit? Hard to say. The President is pulled off the campaign trail and most of the states hit hard by the storm were blue states already. Romney continues to campaign and the ads keep running in those critical swing states. What do you say America?
There are six days left before the election and three days left to vote early in Texas. Early vote locations are open until 7:00 p.m. tonight so go exercise your right to vote before you trick or treat!