Stormy Storm-Sandy, A Factor

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President Barack Obama and Republican Challenger Mitt Romney went back on the attack last after midweek, breaking a storm-induced campaign truce to hit the road and pound home their closing messages in the final stretch of the battle for the White House, reported Reuters’ Jeff Mason.

The Tide source gathered that on that drive, Obama resurrected his 2008 “Change” slogan and said he was the only candidate who had actually fought for it.

In 2008, the Senator, Barack Obama became the first African American ever to become President of the World’s most powerful free nation on earth, the United States of America.

On the ballot for that year’s presidential election were eventual Winner Barack Hussein Obama and Joseph R. Biden as Vice Presidential candidate on the Democratic ticket; Senator John S. McCain and Alaska governor Sarah Palin on the Republican ticket; Ralph Nader and Matt Gonzalez of the Independent Party and Bob Barr. And Wayne Allyn Root of the Libertarian Party.

In 2008, Obama’s campaign on change was easily enhanced by the economic misfortunes of the George W. Bush’s eight-year presidency, so Americans embraced the message of the Democrats.

In the end, Obama emerged President of the United States, the first of his race to achieve that feat. See results below.

The resurgence of the ‘Change,’ campaign as distinct from the ‘Forward,’ Obama has preached all through the campaign was to dilute challenger Mitt Romney’s ‘Change’ slogan believed to be gaining grounds among independents.

Romney had criticised Obama as a lover of big government who would expand the federal bureacracy.

Reuters’ National polls monitored by The Tide last Friday night had shown the presidential race deadlocked, and Obama and Romney determined to spend the final days in eight swing States that should decide who wins the required 270 electoral votes (See Box For Electoral Votes per State) needed to capture the White House.

Obama had made Wisconson the first stop on a four-State swing on same day that also took him to rallies in Nevada and Colorado and then spent the night in Ohio. On the other hand, Romney had a full day campaigning across Virginia.

“You may be frustrated at the pace of change, but you know what I believe. You know where I stand.” Obama told a crowd of 2,600 people on an airport tarmac in Winsconsin, a vital piece of his electoral strategy.

“I know what change looks like because I’ve fought for it,” Obama said, in veiled reference to his thrills and travails of the 2008 Presidential polls which he won.

Romney had earlier criticised Obama’s comment in an interview aired by MSNBC on Monday that he would like to consolidate government agencies that deal with business issues in a new department under a secretary of business.

“I don’t think adding a new chair to his cabinet will help add millions of jobs on Main Streets” Romney was quoted as saying:

Obama and Romney had put campaigning on hold for several days as the historic storm SANDY pounded the eastern seaboard, leaving a trail of destruction and forcing Obama to turn his attention to storm relief.

The pause produced some unexpected political benefits for Obama, who won warm praise from Republican Governor Chris Christie of New Jersy, a major Romney supporter, and he spent days directing federal relief efforts in a show of Presidential leadership that largely sidelined Romney.

Sandy: Blessing In Disguise

…As New York Mayor Endorses Obama

New York Mayor, Micheal Bloomberg – a Republican-turned-Independent who did not back a candidate in 2008, last Thursday endorsed President Barack Obama and cited Democrats record on climate change, in the aftermath of the storm Sandy.

Bloomberg said Obama had taken significant steps to reduce carbon consumption, while Romney had backtracked on earlier positions he took as governor of Massachusetts to battle climate change.

Obama in response said he was “honoured” by the backing of Bloomberg, who flirted with White House runs in the past.

Bloomberg, wrote in an opinion article for Bloomberg View, a section of Bloomberg News, “Our Climate is Changing.”

“And while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of it, the risk that it might be-given the devastation – should compel all elected leaders to take immediate action.”

With Obama locked in a neck and neck battle with Romney, the endorsement coming five days before tomorrow’s election was huge.

Bloomberg’s endorsement came after Obama had won similar praise from New Jersy Governor Chris Christie a Republican, and Romney’s biggest supporter, for Obama’s quick reaction to super storm Sandy.

Obama Enjoys Swing-State Advantage

The quest to garner the required 270 electoral votes to retain White House as President got brighter for Obama fuelled primarily by a small, but steady lead in the vital battleground of Ohio – a crucial piece of any winning scenario for either candidate.

Barring any surprises elsewhere, The Tide predicts that Obama will win a second term by capturing the Midwestern bastions of Ohio, Wisconson and Iowa, same reason the president’s scheduled tour was aimed at shoring up his safety net there.

Spurred by that drive, Obama visited Ohio on each of the last four days of his campaign in addition to two more trips to both Winsconsin and Iowa. He concludes his campaign tonight with Rock Singer Bruce Springsteen in Iowa, where a 2008 cancus win launched his run to the Presidency.

However, Obama made just one visit each in the final days to Florida and Virginia where most polls, up till last Friday gave Romney a slight lead.

On his part, Romney hit Winsconsin and Ohio last Friday, and New Hampshire, Iowa and Colorado on Saturday. He finishes up his campaign tonight in Hampshire, the State where he lunched his bid last year.

However, Romney’s campaign had aired ads in the past few-days in the Democratic-leaning States of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Minnesota, in hope to put them in play after polls showed the races tightening but with Obama still ahead.

The Campaign explained why Romney visited Pennsylvania yesterday, marking his first visit since the nominating convention because it was one of his new target States.

The Tide electoral maths shows that win in Pennsylvania would be a crippling blow to Obama, but most public polls still show Obama leading in that State.

However, Romney aides insisted at the weekend that the moves in those three new states were a sign of their growing momentum, although, Obama aides described them as a desperate ploy to fund new paths to 270 electoral votes.

A Reuters/Ipsos National online poll at the weekend (Friday) had showed the race remained effectively deadlocked; with Obama at 47 per cent to Romney’s 46 per cent, most national polls monitored by The Tide showed roughly same results.

Romney’s campaign stop in Pennsylvania Sunday was therefore, to take advantage of what aides saw as the possibility of an upset win over President Obama in the traditionally Democratic State, a step Democratic strategists view as a tall order.

However, Romney campaign aides decided the visit took place in the Southeastern portion of the State. Romney had held off on campaign visits to the State because it appeared Obama had the State locked up. But polls have tightened in recent weeks, although he (Romney) still trails behind Obama.

The visit he had calculated would give two potential goals. If Romney were to win Pennsylvania, it could provide a buffer for him should he lose Ohio, crusial battleground State where Obama had been holding a small but persistent lead in the polls.

No Republican candidate had won the Presidential race without winning Ohio.

Winning Pennsylvania, therefore, could expand Romney’s path for winning the required 270 electoral votes needed for victory.

Strangely, Romney had a narrow path that relies on hopes of winning a number of other battle ground States like Virginia, Florida and North Corolina where the race is too close to call.

The Obama campaign according to Reuters accounts, had been dismissive of Romney’s last minute efforts to increase his profile after the campaign announced it was running television ads there.

A senior Romney adviser had said Romney’s wife, Ann Romney had been campaigning in Pennsylvania on her  husband’s behalf and found an improving picture for him there.

 

Soye Wilson Jamabo with Agency Reports