As Hurricane Sandy was approaching the Jersey Shore, President Barack Obama has suspended his campaign activities to be at the ready for the pending crisis. But on Monday’s broadcast of Fox News Channel’s “Special Report,” Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer wasn’t convinced it wasn’t just for political imaging purposes.
Krauthammer compared Obama’s willingness to be out front on Sandy to his lack of willingness to be out front on Benghazi, which he said suggested political opportunism.
“He says he’s not concerned about the impact on the elections,” Krauthammer said. “I’m sure he’s very sincere on that. It is a little odd that he shows up in the briefing room, where he hasn’t shown up in the briefing room for about, what — a month and a half on Libya, or for everything else for that matter? Then you get the photo-ops of him in the situation room deploying, I guess, the utility crews who will restore power all over America. Whereas you would think he might want to use the situation room and had convened high-level people during the nine hours our people were under attack in Benghazi.”
Krauthammer went on to explain why the onus of the disaster prep and relief isn’t on the president, but on the governors of states. But in this instance he suggested it is serving as an opportunity for the commander-in-chief to steer the momentum of the election back his way.
“It’s hard to look at this, playing the president, playing the commander-in-chief in what’s a natural disaster that really doesn’t a lot of leadership from the White House,” Krauthammer said. “It’s up to the governors mostly. The White House and the governors release money. That’s about all that they do. And he’s really good at releasing money and pretending it’s not about politics. He wants to use this to show himself in command and I think he might actually be the beneficiary of the fact that all national attention is drawn away for three days. Romney clearly had the momentum, it slowed down but it was still heading in his direction. It’s not clear what happens when the country sort of wakes up out of this in three days and restarts attention on the campaign, whether the momentum will be gone or not. I mean, that’s an open question.”