By Vitaly Radnayev and Andrey Fedyashin
Storm Sandy that hit the East Coast of the US could play a crucial role in the presidential campaign. Analysts believe that the storm can benefit Obama even better than all the members of his campaign team. Sandy can help Obama get a ‘permission’ to reassume presidency.
And this could happen during the final and most important stage of the presidential campaign, when less than a week is left before the elections. Until recently, opinion polls have shown Obama and Romney sharing almost equal chances to win.
The storm will save Obama’s election campaign. Sounds cynical, doesn’t it? Being cynical, however, is part of any presidential campaign in the US All behavior standards are forgotten once such a great prize awaits the participants at the end. Sandy is a good example. Actually, it was not a hurricane when it reached the US but a tropical storm, meteorologists confirmed. Obviously, it was not the strongest hurricane in a decade. Prominent Russian political analyst Gleb Kuznetsov believes that the Obama team has been overdramatizing the situation. “Obama bothered in advance to turn this hurricane into a catastrophe. Referring to Sandy the Obama administration used such terms as ‘unprecedented’ and ‘horrible’ as if trying to get people prepared for a possible outcome. Sandy could not have brought Obama any good, only harm. And this is what he focused on beforehand, trying to prevent harmful consequences.”
The superstorm offered Obama a chance to use his administration`s potential to its full and prove himself to be an effective president and rescuer without facing the risk of being accused of politicking. The Obama team seems to have learned a good lesson from the 2005 Katrina hurricane. The then US leader George W. Bush was blamed for his slow handling of the situation which resulted in his approval ratings going down sharply.
Pavel Tarusin, analyst for the Moscow State Lomonosov University: “Voters have already compared Sandy to Katrina. In 2005 the rescue operation was really too late as Mr. Bush and GovernorofLouisiana debated for 5-6 days on whether to allocate federal money on the rescue operation or not. In terms of this, Mr. Obama finds himself in a better position now: we must admit that he has been quite active in handling the situation.”
Barack Obama cancelled all the remaining campaign appearances and is busy monitoring the rescue operation in the north-east of the country. His schedule for Wednesday, October 31, features a visit to the worst affected New Jersey areas. Republican candidate Mitt Romney is touring Florida on Wednesday, a state which was not affected by Sandy. Can there be a better contrast between the two candidates: one monitoring the rescue campaign and the other continuing campaign while the U.S. East Coast is in trouble?
Barack Obama has declared the states of New Jersey and New York the worst affected by the storm. It was ordered to allocate some federal money to help people in these areas to cope with the aftermath of the storm. Even Republican New JerseyGov. Chris Christie admitted that Obama’s actions were ‘outstanding’. This certainly placed Mitt Romney in the background of the current political scene in the US.
Sandy loses power, death toll keeps growing
Hurricane Sandy, which hit the US eastern coast and Canada, is losing force, but the death toll keeps growing. According to the latest reports, the hurricane has claimed some 50 lives. Over 8 million are suffering electricity outages.
The raging elements claimed more than 60 human lives in the Caribbean countries before making landfall over the US eastern coast and Canada on Monday night.
The overall damage cost is preliminarily estimated at 20 billion dollars, but Japanese economists feel the cost may well rise to 100 billion dollars and gravely affect US economic growth.
The US National Hurricane Centre believes that Sandy has become the biggest-scale tropical cyclone in the North-East Atlantic since tropical cyclones began to be recorded in 1851.
NY City takes measures against possible crime wave
Amid enormous efforts to get back to normal life, New York City authorities are taking measures against a crime wave that could spill over the city.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has promised “a very heavy police presence” in the blackout city areas.
According to reports from the crippled city, police vans and patrol cars with their roof lights on can be seen in the streets.
Though there has been little sign of a crime wave so far, police made multiple arrests in the city on Monday and Tuesday, officials said.
Charges included burglary, criminal mischief and trespassing.
Sandy hurricane spurs beefed up police patrols
New York has begun beefing up police patrols in the wake of Hurricane Sandy’s landfall, which triggered a rise of crime and violence in the city, media report.
Some hundred police troops have been deployed to Coney Island to protect the looted stores and banks, while residents of several blocks in Chelsea, Manhattan, hired private security forces.
New Yorkers fear the storm could lead to a spike in crime and sweeping outages, the media report says.
Russian air-carriers cancel flights to NY
Russian air-carriers Aeroflot and Transaero have cancelled their flights from Moscow to New York due this Wednesday, over hurricane Sandy. The US Delta Airlines has taken similar steps. The situation is extremely involved at JFK Airport in New York.
One runway is non-operational, since its navigation systems have drowned in floods.
Most of New York’s alternate airports have been closed.
Sandy made landfall over the US eastern coast on Monday, killing more than 50 Americans to date. Some 8 million people are suffering from power outages.
The damage cost is estimated at 20 billion dollars.
The hurricane earlier hit some Caribbean countries, so the overall death toll makes up some 120.
The cyclone is currently moving towards Canada.