“The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men, Gang aft agley.” (Robert Burns)
The October surprise arrived this evening in Sandy’s windy assault on the Northeast. How it factors into next week’s election is anybody’s guess, and you can work varying good or bad scenarios for either candidate. Provided he doesn’t make any mistakes, the President can be seen being presidential. It’s also a safe bet that most folks on the receiving end are likely to be grateful. The storm, moreover, relieves Obama from the incessant focus on a still languishing economy along with the emerging reality of the government’s grievous misfire in preempting the Benghazi debacle.
As I write, the Labor Department may delay Friday’s crucial job report until after the election. Probably no conspiracy here, since we don’t know how the report would break in favoring Obama or Romney, though you’d think the Administration would push for its release we’re it favorable, come hell or high water. After all, the economy has been showing inklings of improvement in several sectors, ie., housing and employment.
Perhaps the most potent advantage for the President is that the storm may corral the incipient surge towards Romney even in battleground states like Ohio, now rated a toss-up.
You might argue that Sandy has handed Obama the election on a silver platter. But hold on: there’s one thing the speculative press may be missing that favors Romney. Vast as Sandy is, with winds extending 175 miles from its center, it mainly impacts those states, apart from Virginia, that are foremost in the Democratic column anyway.
Whatever happens, the media will have plenty to chew on following next Tuesday’s voting results.