The long weekend: The first ‘billion dollar election’ reaches its climax

Barack Obama campaigning in Ohio


This weekend is the last before Tuesday’s Presidential election. The US is still reeling after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy whilst Barack Obama and Mitt Romney try and go for the jugular whilst stepping on egg shells.

In New York forty people have been found dead and 98 nationwide. The disaster is far from over, with whole areas like Staten Island completely decimated by flooding.

Criticism has been laid on Mayor Bloomberg due to a perception of the recovery operation ignoring areas like Staten Island. He has also been criticised for his decision to allow the New York Marathon to go ahead on Sunday.

Bloomberg has also been in the news today because he has endorsed Obamafor President over Romney. He cites reasons of climate change and Romney’s ‘flip-flopping’ for his endorsement.

Obama has recently received words of support from another Republican, Governor Chris Christie, over his handling of Hurricane Sandy and the non-partisan effort to help people recover from the disaster.

Overall, Obama has been praised for his reaction to the disaster and has avoided any political or humanitarian failures such as President George W. Bush did with Hurricane Katrina. That said the scare to the campaigns is far from over as there is no way of predicting the aftermath of an event like this.

In contrast to Obama’s public statements on the hurricane, Romney puts far less emphasis on the work of those fighting for the recovery – the National Guard for example – and instead tells those with “a dollar or more” to donate to the Red Cross, a position telling to his critics.

More good news has come through for Obama with the announcement of 171,000 jobs having been added to the economy through October which has added extra credibility to his central economic argument.

This momentum is showing now despite polling data barely leaving enough space to get a cigarette paper between the two candidates. The Guardian reports that Obama’s speech today in Colorado brimmed with the verve and passion of old imbued with a real hatred for the Romney GOP and all they stand for.

It is not all good news for Obama, however – Romney has apparently won the majority of votes of Americans in Israel. Democrats have criticised these polling figures though, claiming them to be biased. That said, the votes of American Israelis are important with many thousands registered in swing states such as Florida.

With the election just four days away, the candidates scrabbling over inches of land and the country still reeling from the destruction left by Hurricane Sandy, this last weekend is crucial in the too-close-to-call sprint for the White House.

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