October 30th, 2012
02:11 PM ET
10 years ago

Looking presidential: The optics of leadership during a disaster

(CNN) - As Sandy took aim at the East Coast, President Barack Obama discarded campaign events in Florida and Virginia to return to Washington and address the storm from the White House.

Mitt Romney adjusted his schedule to hit the battleground state of Ohio and direct campaign resources in Virginia and New Hampshire to focus on storm relief.


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. C

    Romney is NOT directing his campaign resources towards Sandy. He is just campaigning with a couple of soup cans as props, even showing his campaign videos as he is faking concern for victims. Republicans just bought 50 million worth of more attack ads. Disgrace

    October 30, 2012 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  2. you have got to be kidding---you voted for obama

    Good for Mr. Romney, soon to be President Romney in just a few days!

    October 30, 2012 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  3. Expat American

    The President's response was, as expected, strong and effective. Many are thankful President Obama was more successful than Bush and the Republicans after Katrina.

    October 30, 2012 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  4. cali girl

    just shaking hands and kissing babies
    supplies are needed, yes, however if the citizens were flooded out of their home, what are canned goods going to do?
    Right now money is needed. That will put families in a hotel versus sleeping in a school gym. Money helps to buy generators to get power to places they need it. Money helps the Red Cross organize on the ground and get people moving.

    October 30, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  5. Ancient Texan

    After Obama's Hundreds of Millions of Dollars worth of Personal Attack ads against Romney? Who would have thought.

    October 30, 2012 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  6. Yanni

    This guy should write for vanity fair. He seems out of his league here at CNN. Taking about trivial politics minimizing politics to the simplistic matter doesn't do any good for society

    October 30, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  7. Lynda/Minnesota

    So, is Romney going to take his relief campaign tour to ... oh, I don't know, Alabama? Hawaii? California? South Dakota? Or, is he simply going to keep his "relief" campaining centered on those "swing states" he's trying so hard to (not) pander to?

    October 30, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  8. freedom

    @ Expat American – what???? Why don't you tell that to the suffering families of the victims in Benghazi. You know – the vicitms he didn't send to rescue – so they were brutally murdered??? Strong and effective leadership?? Because he's doing the job he was elected to do – FOR ONCE??? This is the ONLY example of him staying in Washington where he belongs. While the country was at its height of unemployment, he was on a date night in NY on Air Force One (on taxpayer money)! You call that leadership?? God help us.

    October 30, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  9. C

    When Romney was governor. failed to give an effective response to the flooding of Green River in Massachusetts in 2005, instead he campaigned in North Carolina. And he vetoed preventive measures in Peabody, that was later flooded.

    October 30, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  10. Pencilman

    There are many poor people in the US eating in food kitchens. The eight years of Bush politics contributed to the situation. Romney with his millions could have done something earlier for the poor. Now, because he is under election, he is distributing soup cans!
    Would he have given canned food to the auto workers who would be on trouble if the auto industry went belly up?
    Listen republicans, you voted for George Bush. Remember Katrina? Remember how well Obama handle the Gulf Oil spill when you ere expecting him to fail. Obama will win next week because people cannot have amnesia.

    By the way, CNN ticker, a couple of months ago you were only focused on Palin. (Another republican genius). Now I can only see Romney's face. Give me a break!

    October 30, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  11. Ken

    Romney using a tragedy (again!) only to score political points?? I am shocked...absolutely shocked!

    October 30, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  12. sonny chapman

    Why does this look so staged ? A Grade C in Hollywood or maybe an A in India.

    October 30, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  13. carolyne

    The only reason Obamanation is at the white house right now, is because he was TOLD to come there rather than campaign. Obamanation has been AWOL his entire 4 LONG years in office. When has he addressed this nation in any crisis? Has he come forward about Bengazi? No. He will avoid answering anything about it until after the election, when he will be long gone.

    October 30, 2012 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  14. Romney Wants To Get Rid Of FEMA

    How do you storm victims feel about that?

    October 30, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  15. BlkPwr817

    Really? Benghazi still? We just had a major natural disaster that happen to our people along the East Coast. And you still bring up Benghazi. Unfortunately we had 4 Americans die over-seas but we're up to 26 dead & counting after the storm. Seriously though? Why are you still barking over Benghazi? You have your priorities in the wrong place. Your disdain for the President has nothing to do with what he's done over the past 3.5 years. It's obvious you're still upset over a BLACK President. That's the truth weather you're man enough to stand up & say it. Leadership is not trying to gain political points with information that you don't even have yet. Talk about tax payers money??? You mean the tax dollars that went towards (2) wars that which 1 we've already completed & the other we're drawing near a close. Yes, that was on tax payers money. Yet Romney wants us to still be at war(with tax payers money) Romney can only LOOK presidential while the real President, Mr. Obama is actually being Presidential. Get over it and get ready for 4 more years of it sucker!

    Obama 2012!

    October 30, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  16. RR

    After Romney loses on November 6th, what will CNN Ticker do for stories????

    October 30, 2012 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  17. mike, Gardner, Ma.

    Well, President Obama showed up to do battle with Sandy. What a guy. Showing everyone that he is a take charge President. A little late for our guys in Libya. A little late for our border patrol agents in Arizona . Of course , after Sandy exits the area she wont be doing anymore damage, and the first thing that will come out of the mouth of our President is I DID or WE DID just to take credit for saving the northeast. Anything to lift his falling poll numbers. WHAT A HYPOCRITE !

    October 30, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  18. FactCheck

    Fox News asked Chris Christie if he'd be willing to give Romney a photo-op of hurricane relief efforts. His response:"I'm not the least bit interested. I've got a job to do that's much bigger than Presidential politics. I couldn't care less about Presidential politics at this point. I've got people to look after."

    Hey Mitt, that's what a presidential candidate looks like.

    October 30, 2012 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  19. freedom

    And to David Gergen – this president has had four years to prove what kind of leader he is. The benefit of the doubt one week before the election?? And again, try to tell the grieving families of the Benghazi horror to give the president the benefit of the doubt – while he was in Las Vegas the day those brave men were murdered? And still no answers to the American people or these families?? Too tall an order, sir.

    October 30, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    Let's break down the first three sentences of the article:

    1. Obama cancelled all campaign events to make sure he was devoting all time and energy and focus to dealing with the storm.

    2. Mittens cancelled campaign events in the storm's path and rescheduled them for areas not hit by the storm so he could continue campaigning....using the storm as part of his campaign now as well.

    3. BOTH candidates are "balancing" their campaigning with "looking presidential."

    Anyone want to explain what's wrong here? Hmmmmmm? Or do I need to freekin explain it to you so that a 2 year old could understand?

    October 30, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  21. Sniffit

    I see. So Mittens will give yuo a can of soup and Ryan will wash your dishes? It's so perfect and comprehensive!!!!

    Who needs FEMA!?!?!?!

    How many people did Mittens give soup to that showed up solely for the opportunity to meet a famous person and not because they needed it?

    October 30, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  22. gelada413

    Lol lol lol. Can't wait to hear the bantor of Repubs and Conservatives after 4 years of a Romney presidency. Romney's gonna stick it to their ass. Funny how you can sell some people anything – snake oil.

    October 30, 2012 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  23. Frank

    Romney is NOT the president and simply he has no calls on this. Obama is taking care of everything and making calls.

    Romney is taking advantage of this storm to look like he "cares". Even though many of the suffering are a part of the 47% that he does "not need to worry" about.

    Obama IS the President of the United States. Obama IS taking CARE of things. Obama IS the one making the calls. Obama IS running this country as of today and for the rest of the year and hopefully more. Romney can try to do things as much as he wants, but he is not doing ANYTHING when it comes to leadership.

    Let's just let Obama take care of this, because he is the one in the authority to do so. I am much closer to Obama because of this disaster, and now I want him to win. Because there a difference when you look at someone who cares, and has been there. Thank You Mr. President.

    October 30, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  24. Kirk in michigan

    Its not relief, its a pathetic attempt to show compassion he simply does not have. compassion knows no boundries, his seems to only apply to swing states, how about NY NJ MASS CONN? what a poor excuse to politicize a tragedy, wow, This man has no soul, anything for a vote, donate all your time to this disaster, which so conveniently looks alot like his campaign, not mitt, that would be disgaceful and insensitive, yupp, this is the real mitt, t shirts, music, hand shaking, political banners and all. sure glad he had the decency to stop campaigning, see how stupid you repubs sound right now. unreal

    October 30, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  25. sammieb51

    Romney - the American Dream Killer. The guy who said that he would disband FEMA and let the states handle their own disasters. Now imagine a state like, say, New Jersey that is completely inundated, covered up with water, no power, roads impassable and all the rest ... and now the 1st responders dispatched by the state, which is closed and unreachable by phone, get their marching orders from who or where? FU Romney. He can retract it, but a big piece of the Ryan budget plan to reduce the deficit calls for severe reductions to FEMA. The Romney Ryan ticket - God Forbid They Should Ever Be In Charge of This Country.

    October 30, 2012 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
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