In an appearance on CBS This Morning on Tuesday, the network's political director John Dickerson stopped by to briefly discuss the impact Hurricane Sandy could have on the upcoming election.
The segment was primarily focused on how the candidates will try to sensitively make up for lost time on the campaign trail, but there was an underlying question. Who stands to gain the advantage as a result?
Instead of overtly asking it, co-anchor Charlie Rose slyly referred to the short blog post Slate Magazine's chief political correspondent had just filed under The 2012 Campaign Decoder. Dickerson reminded readers of how important a role the federal government can play in all our lives, especially after natural disasters:
Hurricane Sandy interrupted the presidential campaign, but didn't really pause it. The emergency conditions offer the president an opportunity. He can appear in command and on the case. For a campaign that has been about answering the question 'Who cares about you?' President Obama can actually convey that sentiment in a high-stakes moment. Also, for a man presenting himself as a defender of the necessary role of government, this disaster reminds people how much government matters in American life. Mitt Romney has few options, but to ride the storm out.
All but endorsing him, Obama was essentially being encouraged on CBS to utilize the president's role overseeing the federal response to post-hurricane cleanup to portray himself as more compassionate and sympathetic than his Republican challenger.
At the height of the storm on Monday, the New York Times published a lengthy editorial on the same subject. Concluding that "those in Hurricane Sandy's path are fortunate, for now, that ideology has not replaced sound policy."
Relevant CBS This Morning video below.