Every presidential campaign waits with grim anticipation for an “October surprise,” an event occurring mere weeks before an election that could change the course of that contest.
This time, the surprise came from Mother Nature in the form of Hurricane Sandy which, like all adversity, brought out the best in some and the worst in others.
On Sunday, the Romney camp announced it would donate its East Coast campaign bus for disaster relief. It will provide basic supplies to those most in need.
To help get the ball rolling, Curt Cashour, Romney’s Virginia communications director, tweeted the following:
“Bring donations to VA Victory offices. Romney bus will deliver them to those affected by #Sandy. #RomneyRyan2012”
ABC’s Emily Friedman followed up with her own tweet:
“Romney campaign will load storm relief supplies into Romney bus in Arlington Va today an will collect supplies at all VA victory offices.”
Cancellation of activities wasn’t limited to the Eastern Seaboard. CNN’s Political Correspondent Jim Acosta, who covers the Romney campaign, tweeted the following:
”Romney camp canceling Romney event in Wisconsin and Ryan events in Melbourne and Lakeland, Florida. All Tuesday events canceled as well.”
And how did the Obama campaign react to the storm?
According to a tip sent to Fox News, it’s calling for volunteers to call voters from a phone bank at its Annapolis, Md., offices late afternoon to early evening on Monday, which was when the storm was scheduled to hit the area. The email asking for volunteers was sent Sunday at 4 p.m. At that time, the storm’s path was well-known. The body of the email reads:
This past week, President Obama visited eight states in two days on his America Forward! tour. He hardly slept, he talked himself hoarse, and he was constantly on the move.
He knows, just like you and I do, that what matters most in the last days of this election is what we do on the ground: The voters we talk to. The issues we discuss. Every step we take to help get people to the polls for President Obama and other Democrats.
Folks in Annapolis are getting together on Monday to make some phone calls into Virginia.
Can you make it?
What: Phone bank in Annapolis
Where: 47 Spa Road
Annapolis, MD 21401
When: Monday, October 29th
Shifts start at 5:30 pm
The email was signed by Jeremy Bird, national field director of Obama for America.
To be fair, the Obama camp wasn’t totally heartless. In the event volunteers were unable to come out because they were, for example, running for their lives from a devastating storm, an alternative was suggested. They were encouraged to make a donation to the cause.
In related news, former President Bill Clinton said the following in Waterbury, Conn., Sunday:
“We’re coming down to the 11th hour. We’re facing a violent storm. It’s nothing compared to the storm we’ll face if you don’t make the right decision in this election.”
I couldn’t agree more, Bill.