TCTI: Too Crazy To Ignore
Dave Ross
sandyobama.jpg
President Obama comforts a storm victim while touring damage in New Jersey. (AP image)

Should the hurricane pictures affect your vote?

No question, President Obama's video has been more compelling than Mitt Romney's lately - Marine One flying over devastated beaches versus a political rally in Florida? No contest.

But is an undecided voter going to look at this and say "I'm so moved by Marine One, he's got my vote!"

There's a commentary on CNN today by former correspondent Frida Ghitis, who's covered disasters all over the world, and now works on her own as a consultant, and she lists a bunch of examples of leaders who looked great during disasters until they became disasters themselves.

She writes that in Thailand, the same prime minister who led the recovery after the massive Tsunami in 2004 and boldly rejected outside aid, won his election in a landslide, but then tanked and now lives in exile.

The Japanese prime minister who led the earthquake response there, and even dressed like a relief worker ended up resigning.

And she has similar stories about disasters in Peru and Chile.

Of course America is not Thailand or Japan or Peru or Chile. The President isn't jumping onto bulldozers. In fact, I heard him actually lowering expectations:

"I don't want anybody to feel that somehow this is all going to get cleaned up over night. We want to make sure that people have realistic expectations," Obama said after touring storm damage.

Photos from the tour

But her point is the election ought to be about the direction of the country for the next four years, not about who's best at commiserating with victims.

And she's right. But what's encouraging to me about the last few days and especially this mutual embrace between the President and Chris Christie is that at least it actually does seem like an authentic outbreak of bipartisanship. It's just too bad it took four years and a Superstorm to make it happen.

Dave Ross, KIRO Radio Morning News Anchor
Dave Ross hosts the Morning News on KIRO Radio weekdays from 5-9 a.m. Dave has won the national Edward R. Murrow Award for writing five times since he started at KIRO Radio in 1978.
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