October 29th, 2012
04:48 PM ET
6 years ago

Looking presidential: The optics of leadership during a disaster

(CNN) - With Hurricane Sandy slamming the East Coast, President Barack Obama discarded campaign events in Florida and Virginia to return to Washington and address the nation from the White House. Meanwhile, Gov. Mitt Romney adjusted his schedule to hit the battleground state of Ohio, while directing his campaign resources in Virginia and New Hampshire to focus on storm relief.

The candidates are seeking to balance the real threat of a killer storm against the need to squeeze out any last-minute advantages on the campaign trail.


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. myviewis

    Yet President Obama continued campaigning when Hurricane Isaac hit New Orleans and he didn't bother to visit them until 6 days later. Sounds to me like this is nothing more than an attempt of Obama to win votes since we are a few days away from election day.

    October 29, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  2. Gurgyl

    Mitt is not even fit to be cook in WH kitchen. Period. Dishonest thug. Tell him to show TEN YEARS TAXES. Mitt the twit is a total "DISGRACE" to USA nd world. Period.

    October 29, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  3. Jade

    We only have ONE president. The other guy is playing like he's a president but has NO power at all.

    October 29, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  4. Yanni

    Halimah, It is not looking presidential it is being president of the USA. Obama is not assuming the powerof the presidency he is actually the President of the United States of America. I wonder how this fact scape your analytical mind.

    October 29, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  5. Getoverit

    Sorry, too liitle, too late.

    October 29, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  6. g

    like mitt say,s stand your ground no federal help-you are one your own.be strong

    October 29, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  7. Deathstalker74

    Sure, like flying to Vegas during the Benghazi attack? Or barely showing his face during the Gulf Coast oil spill that lasted several weeks? Of how about worsening the Trayvon Martin situation in FL? Too little too late. And CNN, nice way to bring politics into the mix here while we're all dealing with the Hurricane!

    October 29, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  8. Wrong choice

    Obama is chooses to look presidential instead of being/acting presidential. Unfortunately that's what happened for Ambassador Stevens and other three Americans.

    October 29, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  9. Paulcat

    Why does so many people believe all of Romney lies? WHY?

    October 29, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  10. cbr

    The President has a job to do. This storm will cause problems up and down the east coast.

    When Hurricane Isaac hit the President was in touch with those on the ground. For him to go to LA would mean that emergency personnel would have to stop working and go to work on the presidential detail. Today he is addressing us from the White House. He is not getting into the thick of it. Can we let those who are trained to respond in an emergency do their jobs without any interference. Mr. Romney did not understand that need and went into to LA to show them how much he cared. The most he did was to pull people away from responding to the emergency to doing crowd control for him.

    October 29, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  11. Silence DoGood

    Both Romney and Obama have only ONE question to answer: Does appearing for a disaster bring me votes or not?
    Vote Green Party – if not now – locally later – and send them donations – power to the people.

    October 29, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  12. g

    paul ryan has a truck full of buckets on the way–but he wants them back

    October 29, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  13. becky

    Think back to the response that the administration of George W. Bush. His FEMA person could not do the job and even after he visited Louisiana, etc., nothing was done correctly. Mr. Obama has made sure that FEMA would respond promptly and appropriately.

    October 29, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  14. RLP

    In a primary debate on CNN, Romney said that he would get rid of FEMA, make states responsible for disaster relief, or perhaps privatize it. So, I wonder how voters in the states Hurrican Sandy would feel about leaving the relief efforts in the hands of private contractors. I also wonder how Governor Christie feels about it today. I suppose if he really believed in Romney's position, he would not have asked for a Federal Emergency declaration before the storm even hit. The big question this week is whether any of the media will even ask the question.

    October 29, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  15. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    If Romney becomes President there will be no FEMA, you're on your own people, come hell or high water, you're on your own because Romney said he'll get rid of it.

    October 29, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  16. Marie MD

    @myviewis – the twit ran to Louisiana (not that far from Tampa, FL) to pretend he cared and look presidential except that he always looks like the fool he is. He is NOT the president. He went as an every day citizen who has money and the time to do whatever he wants as he hasn't worked for years. Must be nice.
    The President visited the areas when it was safe to do so and his schedule permitted but at least he didn't fly over like shrub #43 did after Katrina.

    October 29, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  17. me

    after reading the responses here I am more conviinced than ever...this country is populated by morons

    October 29, 2012 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  18. Sws

    Looking Presidential? How presidential did Obama look when Americans were calling on him to save their lives in Libya?

    October 29, 2012 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  19. USER-301

    Obama always looks Presidential. In the midst of a storm or in the midst of a good golf game, he always looks like the leader of a country. You can bet Obama will be ready for the storm and ready to be there for the people. The people, both Dems and Repubs. need to pay attention at how fast support will come. The good thing about a storm is that it has no racial boundaries, it doesn't care if you are rich or poor, big home or small. It won't judge you by your money or where you keep your money. You can be 47% or 1%. The storm lets us know that everyone is equal and this is the way our USA should be all the time.

    October 29, 2012 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  20. Shalynn

    Just heard that Mitt the Twit called the Govs of NJ and Va. WHY!!? He can not do one thing to help,NOTHING! He can not make any decisions or offer anykind of assistance for ANYTHING. This jerk is shameless! And he wants to eliminate FEMA. Wants private company's to handle diasters. I guess if you live in a poor state like I do, SC or you are a poor person, if disater strikes, just DIE.

    October 29, 2012 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  21. Chris

    Obama did just what He should have done, no more or no less. The author of this article in his or her left leaning sort of way was trying to imply that because Obama did his job, that should give him extra points come election time. It will not. I am independent and still have not made a decision who to vote for. Between CNN left liberal bias and Fox News right leaning bias it is hard to get a gauge on who is what. It will be people like Me who will pick Obama or Romney. After reading articles like these I want to vote for Romney since it is so left leaning. When I watch Fox I want to vote for Obama. Economics will get my vote at the end of the day. Who will do the best job. The above article is only hurting Obamas chances. Is fair and balanced news anywhere???

    October 29, 2012 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  22. SilentObserver

    if we follow MITT advice to let states handle natural disater themselves, some states will go bankrupt. The country is called United States for a good reason: we are all in toghether; in prosperity as well as hard times

    October 29, 2012 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  23. jinx88

    It is not the states fault for "natural disaster". So when Mittens said to abolish FEMA is the stupidest thing Mittens has said yet. He is speaking from a CEO standpoint, he wants to privatize everything just like Halibutron (Dick Cheney buddies), the company that is rebuilding Iraq or Afghan. We see how well that is working, Not!!

    October 29, 2012 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  24. FactCheck

    Mitt has determined that 47% of the folks affected by the hurricane are claiming to be victims who will never vote him anyway. So, why bother.

    October 29, 2012 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  25. mie, gardner,ma.

    These people need a history lesson. President Bush called both the gov of La. A DEMOCRAT and Mayor Nagan of New Orleans ,also A DEMOCRAT and offered federal help. BOTH declined untill they let it get out of hand. Then the DEMOCRAT led Congress blamed President Bush for not acting fast enough. Thats what actually happened, Oh, and by the way.......Both the state and city are now being run and prosporing under REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP ! ! !

    October 29, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
1 2