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Sandy Delivers Commander-in-Chief Moment

Hurricane Sandy delivered wind, rain, and destruction to a large segment of the East Coast and a much-needed commander-in-chief moment for President Barack Obama, who so far is receiving praise for the government’s response.

In the aftermath of the storm, Obama has received praise from Republicans and Democrats alike including from such notables as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christy, R-N.J., who gave the keynote address at the GOP convention that nominated Mitt Romney.”

Making the rounds of the talk shows, Christie said the president had been “outstanding,” “been all over this,” and been “incredibly supportive and helpful to our state.”

Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell, a top Romney surrogate, said the federal government’s response was fast. “The election’s going to come, but it says a lot about the president, and it makes me feel good to be an American that people have had the right focus,” McDonnell said according to The Washington Post.

Former Republican National Committee Chairman Haley Barbour, who learned a thing or two about national disasters when he was the governor of Mississippi, is predicting a bump in the polls for the president less than a week before Election Day.

“The biggest change in the race is to Obama’s favor — and that's been this storm,” he told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren, adding that he would be “surprised if he doesn’t make a little bit of a comeback here.”

Barbour oversaw Mississippi’s response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The federal government’s response to that disaster is widely viewed as a disaster in itself.

However, Katrina should serve as a cautionary tale for judging Obama’s response to Sandy. It was only when the disaster played out and the severity of destruction was realized that the paucity of the federal response in Katrina was recognized.

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Hurricane Sandy delivered wind, rain, and destruction to a large segment of the East Coast and a much-needed commander-in-chief moment for President Barack Obama, who so far is receiving praise for the government's response.
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