Superstorm Sandy devastated major parts of the country, tripping up Gov. Mitt Romney's campaign as it tried to adjust strategy just one week until Election Day.
Naturally, the concerns for the several dozen believed dead in the wake of the storm takes precedence over all else as does the relief efforts to help those in need.
On Tuesday, Romney's team quickly converted an event planned as an Ohio "victory rally" into a "Storm Relief Event" to help those affected by the storm by removing all campaign-themed signage from the event and posting donation information about the American Red Cross on two large TV screens urging folks to help by texting REDCROSS to 90999.
"We have heavy hearts as you know with all of the suffering goin on in a major part of the country. ... I appreciate the fact that people right here in Dayton got up this morning, some went to the grocery store I see, and purchased some things these families will need, and I appreciate your generosity." - Romney in Kettering, Ohio
The Republican candidate spoke only briefly sharing that he had spoken to some of the governors in the states hit hardest before he helped assemble donated relief items.
Four other scheduled events were canceled.
While Romney intends to resume official campaign events on Wednesday in Florida, during which his campaign will continue to urge attendees to help storm victims, President Obama canceled three days of campaign events to makes his rounds accessing the damage.
MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell just had to dump all over the Romney/Ryan effort as a stunt and the generous Ohioans as just foolish.
How would all those items be delivered? Perhaps in Ohio.
The good folks at Google put together an interactive map showing the extent of damage, which in fact includes Ohio.
The National Weather Service reported that four rivers experienced flood conditions and emergency responders more than had their hands full.
FirstEnergy reported that at least 180,000 homes - mostly in Cuyahoga County - were still without power early this morning. A spokeswoman says power could be out for five days. - The Plain Dealer
The tragedy began to look like a political gift from the liberal media to President Obama, who can scoop up some positive coverage while still getting his message out.
As of this posting, the White House had already released four different photographs of the president dealing with the storm.
Even Romney surrogate New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, whose state was hit hard by the storm, called the president's response to the crisis "outstanding."
Conversely, Romney dealt with a barrage of questions as to whether he would eliminate the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, harkening back to a statement he made during a CNN Republican primary debate that disaster relief should shift toward being a responsibility of the state as opposed to the federal government.
While Obama surrogate, former President Bill Clinton, took swipes at Romney over climate change.
The latest polling shows Romney holds a slight lead over Obama according to a nationwide poll published by NPR showing that the national sample and battleground state samples within the margin of error.
That survey and a Pew Research Center poll, seemed to suggest that Romney strong first debate performance made the difference for voters.
Though Obama's team clearly hopes the storm hopes bump their candidate with some "presidential" photo ops, it could backfire making him look desperate before what's sure to be a very tight showdown.
- Follow me @erica_holloway.
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