Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Will Hurricane Sandy put Romney under water?

Every presidential election  those involved in politics wait for what is known as the "October Surprise", the incident, or piece of information, something that no one saw coming that comes out right before the election and sways voters in one direction or another and decides the election. This year that surprise for Romney may have been Hurricane Sandy and his own words from a year ago which may now come back to haunt him.

In a Republican presidential debate in 2011  Romney said, using the usual anti-big government mantra which is the staple of Republican thinking,  that he would get rid of FEMA and not just take the responsibility away from the federal goverment and have the states handle it themselves, but even better, take it away from the states and let "the private sector" handle it.

Forget the fact that this is just one more shortsighted Republican idea which if implemented would make a bad thing worse. The timing given the devastation caused by the storm and it's proximity to the election and with FEMA about to take an active role in the recovery in states affected by the storm, both Romney's words as well as the storm may be enough to sink Romney.

New Jersey which was hit extremely hard has a Republican governor, Chris Christie. Christie has made a point of saying, in almost every news conference, that he has been on the phone with Obama 3 times a day since the storm made landfall in New Jersey,  trying to coordinate the federal disaster response to the storm. Christie has given assurances to people in New Jersey that Obama will cut through the red tape and that assistance  from FEMA will be provided as fast as possible. Obama in fact is visiting New Jersey today.

 If Democratic political strategists and those responsible for getting Democrats elected in terms of strategy and money spent have even half a political brain, which in the past they have shown they do not, they would spend every last dime on TV commercials showing that Romney answer in 2011 where he said he'd get rid of FEMA  under footage of the disaster and its aftermath.

Commercials showing that Romney's views on disaster relief from 2011 over footage of the devastation in in the northeast could cost Romney every state from Maine to West Virginia, and could turn voters in many other states sympathetic to the plight of those affected by Sandy in the northeast against Romney and Republican ideology especially if the commercials are executed correctly on both an emotional level as well as how Republican policies, which tend to put money and budgets ahead of people, are bad for the country.

 If Democrats are smart, while the storm may be over for residents hit by Sandy in the northeast and the recover begins, they can create another storm, this one just for Romney and the Republicans, a storm from which Romney might not recover, and a storm from which FEMA will not save him but might actually sink him.

NOTE: Unfortunately, many Democratic support groups and sites like Daily Kos, are resorting to the ugly Republican trick of taking a statement out of context and twisting the meaning for their own purposes. Republican strategists have made that a staple of their political campaign strategy which given the results of Republican polices is all they have.  Unfortunately, many Democrats think imitating that is the way to win. Daily Kos is saying in their fund raising emails that Romney called funding FEMA "immoral". That is simply not what Romney said. He was referring to the deficit and that borrowing to add to the deficit was immoral, Yes, he thought  FEMA was an unncessary goverment agency whose funding was adding to the "immoral" deficit but did not specifically call FEMA funding "immoral".  What Romney said is damaging enough. Distorting what he said is no way to win at anything, even if Democrats think it is.

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