Guess Chris Christie found that "light switch of leadership" somewhere along the battered Jersey Shore. Only a week earlier, the governor had blasted Barack Obama for being "like a man wandering around a dark room, hands up against the wall, clutching for the light switch of leadership, and he just can't find it."
Now, Mitt Romney's campaign surrogate is the president's best bud, praising Obama for being "all over this, and deserves great credit," saying he's been "wonderful" and "outstanding." Romney, who has wanted to reduce FEMA's role and return disaster relief to the states and the private sector, was stuck not hosting a previously advertised "victory rally" - a tad premature, no? - in Ohio, that great time and money suck of the 2012 campaign.
Are we jealous of Ohio? Yes, we are.
Anyway, Romney ended up boxing canned goods for storm relief. "We're going to send them into, I think it's New Jersey," he said. By the way, the new, new moderate Mitt, the post-Sandy one, absolutely supports FEMA.
Christie was everywhere during the storm, earning plaudits from virtually everyone, including the icon he reveres the most, yet who has eluded him the longest. Christie has attended 129 Bruce Springsteen concerts, The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg reports, and has only suffered unrequited love. The Boss, who performed a benefit concert for storm relief Friday, praised "the governor, who has done such a hard job this past week." Welcome, Chris Christie, to the promised land.
Sandy makes for intriguing bedfellows, especially in a time of rare bipartisanship. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is an independent who has been critical of both presidential candidates. On Thursday, he endorsed Obama, largely due to the president's work on climate change. Bloomberg argued that "given the devastation it is wreaking, [the issue] should be enough to compel all elected leaders to take immediate action."
Remember climate change, the pressing global issue that dared not speak its name for most of this endless campaign?
Critics may carp about politicizing the weather, but the truth is it was politicized already, along with everything else.
Katrina proved a quagmire for George W. Bush and his Brownie. Many conservatives remain creationists on climate change. Pennsylvania Senate candidate Tom Smith has called it "the biggest hoax the American people have had rammed down their throats in my lifetime."
Come Wednesday, Smith will be mourned by local television stations, which the coal magnate has single-handedly supported with his ad money during the last few months, appearing more often than that annoying insurance saleswoman.
Presidential candidates have discovered their Pennsylvania love. Marco Rubio campaigned here last week. Paul Ryan planned to be in Harrisburg on Saturday, and Romney is scheduled to visit Bucks County on Sunday. In the final days, the campaigns are throwing money at us, though not, you know, Ohio-scale bucks. According to the National Journal, Obama spent almost 10 times as much money in Ohio as here. Romney? Almost 23 times as much - and that tally doesn't include all those gorgeous PAC dollars.
Pennsylvania has proved instead to be the battleground for voter ID and suspected widespread election fraud - a suspicion held by some Republican legislators in counties they do not control. Like a certain one in the state's southeastern corner. Even though voter ID is not required for one to vote Tuesday, state ads in a $5 million campaign continued to suggest that it might be needed, which critics found misleading.
The NAACP and other civil rights groups have asked for election monitors in states "most impacted by voter-restriction efforts" - that would surely be Pennsylvania. The monitors would come from the United Nations-affiliated Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe, its election group based in Warsaw. Instead of polls, we'll get Poles.
Consider the irony that civil rights organizations are requesting European observers to monitor elections in the United States. Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, the architect of the voter ID legislation, responded that the state should order those observers to remain outside polling places or "better yet, stay away, along with any other intregrity-deficient individuals or foreign nationals who wish to exercise a fraudulent or corrupt influence on the 2012 election."
In Philadelphia, the Committee of Seventy has 750 volunteers, about half of them lawyers, said policy director Ellen Mattleman Kaplan, plus it received a request from the Russian Consulate to observe the elections. The state chapter of the ACLU also has lawyers on call, though not Ohio levels of lawyers. The closer the results, the more lawyers. Possibly worried about a surfeit of integrity-deficient individuals, Democrats are promising 2,500 lawyers across that state, 600 in Cuyahoga County alone. Are we jealous? No, we are not.
The spending, debating, polling, and politics are almost over, and all that's left is to vote. Do vote. You don't need ID - this year. And if you see any lawyers, Poles, Russians, or other foreign nationals at your polling place, be sure to give them a nice Pennsylvania hello.