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Week in Review: The Hurricane and the Last Days of the Election

October 31, 2012

Sean Moran ‘14

Hurricane Sandy is here, causing candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney to change their campaign schedules, which in turn could alter the calculus of voter-turnout. President Obama cancelled a fundraiser in Florida on Monday and cancelled another meeting in Wisconsin in order to monitor the progression of the storm. Romney canceled an event in Virginia and only held a rally in Ohio on Monday before cancelling the rest of his scheduled events before the storm hit. Obama spoke before the Brady Briefing Room in the White House, urging citizens to heed advice from state and local officials to remain safe and evacuate if necessary. Governor Romney also urged his supporters to remain safe until the hurricane passes. It is widely believed that Mitt Romney’s move to cancel campaign events to focus on support for local communities during the storm is a smart move. He does not want to be seen as taking advantage of a crisis. During a crisis there is only one leader of the country, and that is the President. If Romney were to take advantage of this crisis, he would divide this nation at a time where everyone needs to come together and support those who are in harm’s way.

The 2008 Presidential Election was a monumental moment in American history. Then-candidate Obama campaigned around the country with a level of prominence akin to that of a rock star. Barack Obama’s fame was crystallized in the video, “Yes We Can,” filled with various celebrities purporting the ideas of hope and change. The video received millions of views, and the phrase, “Yes We Can” became commonplace. Millions of Americans came out to the voting booths in 2008 hoping for some semblance of change. The American people got their wish later that night, as Barack Obama was elected the first African-American president in the history of these United States. However, the atmosphere today is not filled with the same level of enthusiasm that Obama supporters have shown in the past. On October 9 there was a rally at Ohio State University, where will.i.am came onto stage to fire up the crowd, with a chant of, “four more, four more, four more years,” the crowd’s reaction was reserved. Obama’s speech that day was no better; he fell flat, essentially nit-picking at his Republican opponent’s tax plan. Republicans contend that the President is “out of ideas,” and instead plans on winning the election by criticizing Governor Romney. The contention that Obama needs four more years to fulfill his vision is less stirring than that of hope and change, and herein lies Obama’s problem. There may be some skepticism as to Romney’s vision, but polls suggest that the public believes he is the candidate better equipped to address our economic concerns. We are in the midst of the finale of this election, the remainder of which will be filled with two candidates who do not have the same enthusiasm as that of the Barack Obama of 2008 or Ronald Reagan. Whether we can elect a candidate that can inspire the hearts and minds of the people this time around has yet to be seen.

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