Wednesday, 31 October 2012


'October Surprise' is Political Jargon for a news event which happens ironically in October, which could determine the upcoming US Presidential Election. The election normally takes place within the first 8 days of November.

It's historic that this happens election after election, and has come to light again with the very recent Hurricane Sandy which has caused major damage, injuries and deaths on the East Coast. Blackouts, power surges, deaths and injuries, were seen in the past couple of days in New York and New Jersey and the surrounding areas. It has been compared to Hurricane Katrina which happened before the George Bush elections.

Flooding in Manhattan near Brooklyn Bridge.

Water rushing into a subway tube station.
Source: telegraph

Wall Street.

Battery Park Tunnel.
Source: telegraph

Source: bbc

This shows the predicted areas that the storm will effect.

Impact on US, in figures
40+ people killed
8 million left without power
139 mph - highest gust of wind - Mt Washington, New Hampshire
12.55 in (31.88cm) rainfall, Easton, Maryland
13.88 feet (4.23m) storm surge, Lower Manhattan
7,000 reports of trees down in NY City
29 hospitals lost power in New Jersey
Sources: New York Times, AP

President Barack Obama has called off his current election campaign to tour states which have been devastated by this natural disaster. He was due to visit emergency services, businesses and hospitals to give thanks, and help to re build. He has said that any necessary action to be taken, and money that needs to be spent will be done.

Romney however, held a conference in Ohio regarding the storm. This is a state that he needs to maintain in his favour. Both candidates are running pretty much even still, with some swing states that 
could decide who will end up winning.

Source: independent

"The storm is not over yet," Obama cautioned during a Tuesday afternoon visit to the headquarters of the Red Cross in Washington. "We're going to continue to push as hard as we can" to provide resources, he added, before emphasizing that his message to his administration is "no bureaucracy, no red tape."

The storm also calls attention to a dynamic that all incumbents face: how to balance being president while running for reelection. Rarely, if ever, has a president had to deal with such a major disaster so close to Election Day, and any misstep or move that appears politically motivated could cost Obama with voters.

For now, the president's Chicago-based reelection team is exhibiting no urgency to return him to the campaign trail. The campaign canceled two rallies in Ohio on Wednesday, and one aide said Obama's schedule is being determined by the president, along with White House advisers such as David Plouffe and Chief of Staff Jacob Lew.
This aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk frankly about internal strategy, suggested that at this point, the rallies are marginally helpful in getting supporters to vote, but that otherwise "the race is set."

In the meantime, Obama campaign manager Jim Messina sent e-mails to supporters in storm-affected states asking that they donate to the Red Cross.

Matthew Dowd, a top aide for Bush's 2004 reelection effort, said Obama has used the power of his incumbency and "done just exactly what he needs to do."

"The longer they can have him being the president and not a candidate, the better for them," Dowd said.

On Tuesday morning, Obama convened a videoconference from the Situation Room with Vice President Joe Biden, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Federal Emergency Management Administrator W. Craig Fugate and a dozen other top advisers.

According to one White House aide, he told them: "I want everyone leaning forward on this. I don't want to hear that we didn't do something because bureaucracy got in the way."