As hurricane Sandy comes barreling towards the East Coast, it becomes increasingly apparent that the “October Surprise” we were waiting for may come from Mother Nature itself and not from either candidate Romney or President Obama.
While a Frankenstorm hurtling towards America may sound like a chance to set politics aside, we can be assure that no matter what it will continue to be election season. And the worst hurricane Sandy becomes, the more it will be politicized. What the hurricane could make most obvious for Americans is the inappropriateness of running for office while you are in office.
The president has certain responsibilities. A lot of those responsibilities have to do with being a figurehead. As the candidates reschedule their electioneering around hurricane Sandy, it is only a matter of time before they rearrange their narratives for it. Claims of politicizing, ignoring, and underestimating a (potential) natural disaster will abound. The hurricane will not stop the campaign season; it will just change its flight schedule.
When a nation is in a time of need it looks towards its leaders. We expect them to do their job. But is running for office part of their job? It certainly takes up an amount of time to the point that it is ridiculous to think it doesn't interfere with their job if it isn't. Being president is a full time job, as is running for president (just ask Romney, he has been running for six years). Congress is essentially contently running for office since its terms are so short. Congress also happens to have dismal approval numbers. Running for office seems to be at the expense of being in office.
As we await the storm, and the politicizing that will occur, we should think about what we really want. Do we want someone running for president? Or do we want a president. Someone constantly running for a job is someone that is distracted from the job at hand.