Hurricane forces Obama to balance governing, campaigning
WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - President Barack Obama on Sunday faced the delicate task of balancing his administration's biggest storm response with his tough campaign for re-election as Hurricane Sandy bore down on the United States (US) East Coast little more than a week before Election Day.
Trying to show he had learned the lessons of White House predecessor George W. Bush's botched handling of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Mr Obama sought to project the image of a president fully engaged in marshaling resources to deal with a looming natural disaster.
Visiting the federal storm-response centre in Washington, Mr Obama warned East Coast residents to prepare for a "serious and big" storm that will be slow-moving and might take time to clear up. But he vowed the government would "respond big and respond fast" after it strikes.
But even as he pledged to stay on top of the storm threat, Mr Obama - after shuffling his campaign travel because of the hurricane - was sticking to plans to fly to Florida on Sunday night.