As Sandy clean-up begins in New York City, the presidential horse-race, now officially a week before the election, slows—but doesn't quite come to a complete halt. Jonathan Allen at Politico explains that the Obama campaign had Bill Clinton, Joe Biden, and Michelle Obama out on the trail on Monday while he focused on doing his job back in Washington. Meanwhile, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are doing relief—in swing states Ohio and Wisconsin. The challenge for both sides is to win over supporters, but also still appear sensitive. Here's what we know:
- BuzzFeed (now in Tumblr form) reports that a White House official explained that Obama was updated on Sandy throughout the night and was in touch with officials in New York and New Jersey:
Overnight the President also provided major disaster declarations for the states of New Jersey and New York – building on resources already available – and providing additional federal support for state and local efforts, as well as direct federal assistance to affected individuals in declared counties.
This morning Obama declared that New Jersey and New York were in states of "major disaster."
- Bill Clinton will campaign for Obama in Minnesota today.
- Per Mike Allen's Playbook, Mitt Romney's schedule says that at 11 a.m. he “will attend a storm relief event at the James S. Trent Arena in Kettering, Ohio, where he will be joined by Richard Petty and Randy Owen.”
- Paul Ryan is in Wisconsin today collecting donations for relief. Per WEAU: "Ryan will be at the La Crosse Victory Center at 2:20 p.m. He'll also make a stop at the Hudson Victor Center at 5:15 where he will thank volunteers who are delivering or collecting items for storm relief efforts." USA Today reports that Ann Romney will be "participating in storm relief events in Wisconsin and Iowa."
- New Jersey's Governor Chris Christie, a Romney supporter, praised President Obama, saying he has been "outstanding in this" during a Today show interview.
Christie's response to Obama was much more positive than his words to Atlantic City mayor who he blasted yesterday over evacuations. The mayor, Lorenzo Langford, countered Christie this morning on the Today show.
- Gallup suspended polling Monday night. Editor-in-chief Frank Newport said in a statement: "The ultimate effect on the overall picture of polling between now and this weekend, including election polling, will depend on what happens as a result of the storm, about which we will have a better understanding of on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week."
- As for other local response, Bloomberg will hold a press conference this morning. Michael Grynbaum of the New York Times explained that he played the role of the "stern parent."