ANALYSIS: Obama Shows Leadership in Storm

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How will the suspension of early voting impact the election?

Nobody knows for sure, but a key strategy for the Obama campaign has been to urge Americans to vote early – and it seems to be working. Jeremy Bird, the Obama campaign’s national field director, said all public polling shows that the president has a double-digit lead among those who have voted.

What we do know is this: Hurricane Sandy not only forced Obama to cancel his campaign appearance in Florida, but it also unexpectedly propelled him into a presidential leadership role in a time of national crisis.

“One of the biggest storms of our lifetimes is unfolding right now,” said the anchor Kelly Cass as The Weather Channel started its fourth day of nonstop coverage.

During the next few days from the White House, Obama will have to lead residents through this storm, provide comfort for those in need, offer prayers for people who may suffer injuries, and give compassion to citizens without power.

When asked about the hurricane’s effect on the Nov. 6 presidential election, Obama said American citizens come first.

“I am not worried at this point about the impact on the election,” Obama told reporters at the White House Monday.  “I’m worried about the impact on families, and I’m worried about the impact on our first responders.  I’m worried about the impact on our economy and on transportation.”

“The election will take care of itself next week,” the president added.  “Right now, our number-one priority is to make sure that we are saving lives, that our search-and-rescue teams are going to be in place, that people are going to get the food, the water, the shelter that they need in case of emergency, and that we respond as quickly as possible to get the economy back on track.”

Inside the church sanctuary on Sunday, while praying silently and holding hands with my wife, Melanie, we reflected on what’s truly important in life: family and friends.

And with Obama and Mitt Romney each raising a staggering $1 billion for their campaigns and with attack ads inundating battleground states, suddenly, if only for a moment, politics was put on hold Monday as millions of Americans on the East Coast collectively hunkered down  and prepared to ride out a massive storm that won’t soon be forgotten.

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