As Hurricane Sandy comes near and grows stronger, the pundit class speculates on whom the storm might help more (or hurt worse): Barack Obama or his challenger, Mitt Romney. They talk about whether polls will be open or closed, and whether those who have not voted yet will bother to vote. (They also haul out the old chestnut about rain clouds helping Republicans.) But if anyone is telling you that both campaigns are suspended, don’t believe that. Both campaigns sent out e-mails to their subscribers. And their tone speaks volumes about which candidate (three guesses) is truly acting like a leader.
Obama: send me money!
Barack H. Obama. Photo: Pete Souza, January 13, 2009
Barack Obama’s surrogates sent out at least three e-mails overnight. One, under Michelle Obama’s by-line, complains that Mitt Romney is out-fund-raising Barack Obama.
After all Barack has done in office, and after all you have done to build this campaign, we can’t afford to watch everything slip away on Election Night.
But the other side has outraised us — our opponents have $45 million more than we do for the final stretch. And none of us has ever seen what a barrage of money like that will do.
That’s why we need to do everything we can in these last days, and why we need you to join in the effort.
She goes on to raffle off front-row seats at Obama’s victory party.
A second e-mail under a generic by-line includes a video embed of Bill Clinton “explaining…what Mitt Romney’s $5 trillion tax cut would mean for middle-class families.”
And Mitch Stewart, “Battleground States Director,” is recruiting volunteers to travel to those “battleground States” to knock on doors, call people on the telephone, or otherwise herd “their” people to the polls. Never mind that Hurricane Sandy might have people seeking high ground, or protecting their homes from possible looters.
Amazing. In a world where people are squaring off and boxing over dwindling equipment and supplies in food and hardware stores, the Obama campaign is in full swing, talking about one thing: re-electing Barack Obama.
Mitt Romney: take care of yourselves!
In sharp contrast, Mitt Romney sent out one e-mail. In it he offered his prayers, and some practical advice:
I hope that if you can, you’ll reach out to your neighbors who may need help getting ready for the storm — especially your elderly neighbors. And if you can give of your resources or time, please consider supporting your local Red Cross organization — visit www.redcross.org to get involved.
This second piece of advice covers one thing that most people would never think of:
For safety’s sake, as you and your family prepare for the storm, please be sure to bring any yard signs inside. In high winds they can be dangerous, and cause damage to homes and property.
Imagine that! While Barack Obama tries desperately to squeeze out the last campaign gift, and the last vote, Mitt Romney is telling people to cooperate with the local Red Cross. He even tells people to take their campaign yard signs in, so they will not turn into deadly missiles!
Now there’s a thought. If one of those emblazoned missiles crashes through your window, read it and ask yourself what message that sends. (And CNAV wishes to reinforce Mitt Romney’s message: take those yard signs down! They can turn into missiles in a 75-knot gust. That is no joke!)
What this shows
Former Governor Mitt Romney at a townhall in Sun Lakes, Arizona. Photo: Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0 Generic License
The behavior of the Obama and Romney campaigns shows what kinds of men want your vote. And it’s all of a piece with other things each man has done. The three Obama campaign e-mails come ultimately from the same man who watched the Benghazi Attack happen in real time and almost surely gave orders to stand down. (And even, so we now learn, relieved his theater commander in the region minutes before he would have sent troops to rescue Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.)
And the Romney e-mail came from the same man who shut down his business and came to New York City to set up a command center to find an employee’s lost daughter.
Now ask yourselves: who is the better leader? Obama? Or Romney?
Addendum: The Obama campaign sent out another e-mail under Barack Obama’s by-line. It mentions FEMA and government emergency first responders, and gives the link for the government Web site Ready.gov.
And then it tells the reader how to give to the Red Cross. Only instead of referring people directly to the Red Cross, it refers people to the Barack Obama campaign Web page that itself has the link to the Red Cross. Can Barack Obama never do anybody any favors without hogging the credit for it? We all know what Jesus said of such play-acting.