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October 29th, 2012
08:56 PM ET

Letters to the President #1379: 'Stormy Monday'

Reporter's Note: For President Obama and Mitt Romney the race goes on, even as a hurricane comes to the east coast. As does my letter writing…

Dear Mr. President,

I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent pretty much the whole day tracking the progress of Hurricane Sandy. Evacuations, school and government closings, canceled trains and planes, rescues at sea; yep, she pretty much has it all. I certainly hope, as I know you do, that everyone who can get out of her way has done so and that those who could not are spared her worst. I’m sure there will be plenty of property damage as it is, but we can at least pray for no further loss of life.

Having covered a great many big storms in my life, I’m always struck by how isolating they are. When you are inside one, it seems like the entire world. Every thought revolves around things like electrical supplies, passable streets, food, water…basic needs. Many of the matters that previously occupied your thoughts go right out the window: movies, sports, household chores, and yes, even elections.

Of course, the problem for you and Mr. Romney is that not everyone in the country is in the storm zone. Yes, some very big, very important states are being pounded by Sandy, but most of the infamous “battlegrounds” are elsewhere. And there, people are enjoying perfectly normal days; going to work, buying coffee, walking their dogs, and mowing their lawns.

So you both face a puzzle: Keep campaigning despite the weather troubles and run the risk of looking callous; or stop campaigning to deal with the weather and risk losing a grip on voters who…while sympathetic…just have other matters on their minds, such as the economy. At the moment, it seems as if you are each handling it about right…talking about the immediate danger of the storm and tending to the welfare of people, while maintaining the ability to pivot fast back to the economy and the bigger race once the storm passes.

Anyway, stay safe and dry. Call if you can, and if the power is still on. Ha!

Regards,
Tom

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