Gotham Chopra: How Hurricane Sandy Could Affect the Presidential Election

A construction crane dangling off a luxury high-rise in Manhattan, prompting a large emergency response as Hurricane Sandy bears down on New York City.

Though I am on the opposite end of the country, I find myself glued to the television and Twitter keeping track of Hurricane Sandy as it bears down on the East Coast. I just saw a picture of a crane about to collapse in NYC just a block away from my parents’ apartment (they are not there). A part of me is almost envious of all my friends, colleagues, and family sitting in the line of fire, getting to witness nature’s magnificent strength up close and personal while we on the left coast sit through another – comparatively mundane – 70 degree day.

I realize that may be a politically incorrect confession considering the inevitable devastation on the other side of the storm, but then again I’m the same guy that often feels sad being away from the warzones I used to cover back in the day as a journalist.

I’m also fascinated by the elephant in the room — how this massive storm will affect the Presidential election, now barely a week away. Gut feeling is that it helps President Obama, provided he doesn’t have a catastrophic brain freeze like President Bush did with Katrina. Meanwhile candidate Mitt Romney just about a year ago advocated cutting back FEMA and relying on the private sector to manage disaster relief in cases like this. You, Mr. Romney, get the bad timing award once again.

One last note: I read some quote yesterday that someone posted about God and natural disasters (and I am paraphrasing here), how God isn’t responsible for delivering Natural Disasters, but is responsible for providing us the strength to endure them. Oh, how convenient! Frankly, I don’t consider myself much of a religious guy, so I don’t really waste time trying to figure out why some outdated male version of God would or wouldn’t send a category 1 storm the way of the most densely populous state in the Union. However, the “spiritual” i.e. practical lens would be the following:

Witness and have reverence for nature’s magnificence. Keep watch over your loved ones. Don’t do anything stupid. Bat down the hatches and see you on the other side.