Monday, Aug 15, 2022
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Frankenswing 2012

Will Hurricane Sandy sweep President Obama into the White House and a second term?

Frankenswing 2012 AP

It is not usual for Mother Nature to unleash her fury at the most powerful nation in the world—the United States of America—especially when it is in the middle of electing its next president. But Superstorm Sandy did exactly that, barely a week before the crucial polls. Gushing in at over ninety miles an hour and hitting many parts of America, it killed 11 people, ravaged buildings and power lines, and brought normal-day life, business and hectic political activity to a temporary standstill, forcing Americans to take a breather.

Analysts will debate, political parties will criticise and presidential hopefuls will curse Hurricane Sandy much after November 6, when the US voters will decide whether to give President Barack Obama another four years in the White House or replace him with his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney. However, as it barrelled towards America’s East Coast, wreaking havoc from Washington to New York, it brought back memories of George W. Bush administration’s botched response to Hurricane Katrina which had ravaged the country’s Gulf Coast in 2005. That in mind, Obama couldn’t afford to take his eyes of the crisis. Romney, on the other hand, couldn’t risk appearing callous about the threat to American lives. David King, a senior lecturer in public policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, expects the storm to help Obama: “President Obama is being seen as a leader in the response, and it’s not something Governor Romney can criticise.”

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