While we continue to watch in prayer and horror at the destruction "Sandy" has wrought up and down the East Coast, I need to go on record with my fear that this hurricane might just act as a "game changer" in the election. I think it could swing the momentum, and ultimately the result, back Obama's way.
At times like this, the average, independent, fairly non-political person forgets all the reasons they normally tend towards small-government instincts in theory and instead is just desperately glad that's not them snorkeling through Manhattan. "And if that were me," they think, "I'd sure want all the help my President and my Governor could muster!"
In a now-distant primary debate, Gov. Romney uttered some uncontroversial comments in support of devolving some disaster-management funds and authority back to the states. Or, I should say, Romney's comments would ordinarily be uncontroversial. But just think about how the liberal media will descend on his remarks over the next week:
"Now that the waters have receded and we're getting back to politics, we at CNN are asking, 'Would those folks have gotten the same help in Romney's America?'"
I would bet serious money that the newspapers and the talking heads will be blasting that kind of scary message coast-to-coast. All of a sudden, the center-right MA governor who barely escaped the GOP primary because he is so moderate will be a neo-Randian anarchist who would rather puppies and kittens drown in floodwaters than raise taxes on the greedy capitalists to fund FEMA. Count on it.
And Obama? The President will be able to fall right back on his super-generic "We're all in this together, I am my brother's keeper, There are some things America just does best together" rhetoric. And folks will be receptive, because everyone is now cheering for the government employees who are working 24/7 and pulling folks out of the flotsam and jetsam.
How many of the few remaining voters who pay so little attention as to still be undecided do you really think will fail to forget the economy, forget Libya, and forget Romney's recent momentum once they see the President looking concerned in a helicopter over a post-apocalyptic Manhattan and draping blankets over victims' shoulders?
I can hear it now. "You know, the economy is complicated, and I never really understood it to begin with. But what I do know, gosh darn it, is that the government being there to save me and my family from a flood is more important than any of this other nonsense!"
Obviously, it is hardly guaranteed this will come to pass. But I am fairly worried nevertheless. What a travesty it will be if this misery and tragedy bails out the President's failed leadership.
What say you, Ricochetti? Can you assuage my concerns -- or do you share them?