But while many believed the immediate response to the two-day “superstorm” – especially newfound comity between President Obama and blunt-spoken New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie – showcased competent leadership by incumbents, there’s clearly concern that images of frustration and suffering could become politically damaging for those tasked with overseeing a return to normalcy.
“This superstorm, in fact, is likely to have incalculable effects on the political scene and the kinds of leadership and public investment we will see in coming years,” writes columnist Darrell Delamaid, on the MarketWatch blog. “History may remember Sandy not only for the devastation it caused but also for its impact on American politics.”
To be sure, the storm reminded many Americans about the value of strong central governments able to assist local responders and fast-track supplies. Americans also gave high praise to both President Obama and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney for hopping off the campaign trail and “de-politicizing” the rescue and recovery phase after the massive storm hammered the nation’s northeastern shore, killing over 100 Americans.
According to polls, Americans have largely approved of the government’s early response to Sandy. As presidential campaigns were briefly suspended, President Obama, especially, stood to gain as he drew praise from governors, had the opportunity to look presidential only days before the Nov. 6 election, and offered and delivered immediate help to hard-hit areas.