Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Superstorm Sandy: Election Catalyst for Obama in an Act of God
Fox news had previously featured nearly continuous coverage of serious issues calling into question the president's handling and spinning of a premeditated 9-11 Anniversary terrorist attack that left four Americans dead. Hillary Clinton's insistence immediately that the attack was a spontaneous protest of a YouTube video quickly was discredited as information surfaced about real-time viewing of the hours-long terrorist assault in the White House situation room. The executive deception aimed to squelch evidence of the president's incompetence in the embassy incident (and by implication any urgent foreign affairs). The truth of a premeditated, organized attack would destroy Obama's oft-asserted campaign boast that "al Qaeda is on the run!" Its revelation could have Watergate-like effects, showing him complicit in concealing a major, deadly event. And as many note, nobody died in Watergate, the cover-up of a break-in to steal documents that led to the resignation of President Nixon in 1974.
But with Sandy's threat, the demise of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others was swept aside. As the swirls on the weather map moved closer, the evacuation of thousands in the most populated areas of New York and New Jersey naturally overtook the airwaves.
With the touchdown of the hurricane and its attendant death and destruction, as well as the loss of utilities for cities that inconvenienced and even imperiled many additional thousands, the president gained the opportunity to step forward into the limelight non-stop. I don't own a TV, but imagined ceaseless coverage of a savior-president lifting muck-encrusted children from car rooftops and rescue rowboats.
Even my fantasies were surpassed by the over-the-top praise Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey lavished on Pres. Obama during his near-immediate damage-viewing excursion: “the President has been all over this and he deserves great credit.” He said Obama's response had been "outstanding," despite the fact that half a million citizens remain without power and gasoline is rationed a week following the governor's kudos.
exit polls that asked the role President Obama's handling of Superstorm Sandy had in voter's decisions: "About four voters in 10 say Obama's response to Hurricane Sandy was important in their vote (42 percent,)" notes Fox News, "and they backed the president by a better than two-to-one margin. Fifteen percent said it was the 'most important' factor in their vote."
The storm was an Act of God. No political strategist planned it, and yet none could have invented a better boost for Obama's reputation and aid to his success. It was as if God was speaking in favor of Barack Obama's re-election, or perhaps commenting on the behavior of those involved in the campaign.
It's a Jewish belief that God helps those go in the direction they truly want to pursue. If one wishes to pursue good, he receives help from Heaven; if his desire is toward evil, his path that way is smoothed. I don't really know what God had in mind in bringing Superstorm Sandy at that very time and place, but I know it conveys a message, and last night's election results spur our urgent need to decipher its content.