For at least 24 hours, the mainstream media have been trying to figure out a way to make Hurricane Sandy an aid to Barack Obama's re-election.
On Monday, MSNBC's Chris Matthews had a related concern asking guest John Nichols of the Nation magazine, "How long do you think it’ll take for Donald Trump to take a crack at the President for engineering this?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
JOHN NICHOLS, NATION MAGAZINE: It's often said that President Obama is too cool, too calm. And yet here you see it playing perfectly. This is a calm, focused president of the United States. Not, no hyperbole, no, you know, big theater, talking people through a very difficult situation in a way that they would want to be talked to, as adults, as responsible players, pay attention, be cool here. And then when the election comes up, being able to say, “Look, you know, my focus is on people's safety.”
Now if we're honest with ourselves, we know that the president of the United States has in the back of their head in reality that there is an election in a week. But this puts him in, to my mind, Barack Obama’s strongest position. He is very good at a moment like this. And so I think Americans are, for better or worse, if we understand politics, being reintroduced to their president in a meek, unprecedented way that could very well have a great deal of significance in how they decide how to vote in a week.
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: How long do you think it’ll take for Donald Trump to take a crack at the President for engineering this?
NICHOLS: Well, you know, already there's been blog traffic saying absurd things.
There are three interesting aspects of the question Matthews asked his guest.
First, in the opening segment of Monday's Hardball, the host played a video clip of Mitt Romney making comments during a Republican presidential candidates' debate earlier this year about why FEMA funds should be given back to the states.
This clip has been making the rounds at news outlets all day trying to politicize this storm in a fashion that hurts Romney while helping Obama.
Secondly, this segment with Nichols was specifically about whether this storm will help the President next Tuesday by making him look like a great leader at the time of a serious natural disaster.
Finally, and quite comically, Matthews several times in the program mentioned that this storm is clearly a byproduct of global warming.
As such, if Matthews believes the extraordinary confluence of unrelated events - including a full moon! - are caused by carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, why should he chide anyone for thinking Obama somehow engineered it.
After all, they're both about equally unlikely.
Think about it.