When Hurricane Sandy hit, President Obama knew what he had to do. Just days before the presidential election, the president handed his campaign banner over to Vice President Joe Biden on Monday, with help from the man he has dubbed his 'Secretary of Explaining Stuff,' former President Bill Clinton.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Biden and Clinton teamed up at a campaign rally in the battleground state of Ohio this week, where they pushed for Democratic voters to get to the polls ahead of the November 6 election.
When faced with the intensifying storm, Obama cut short a planned campaign trip to Florida to deal with Hurricane Sandy instead.
'We went to Florida last night and he got up this morning and called me and said, 'I gotta go back right now. This storm is getting out of hand, I gotta handle it,' Clinton told the crowd of thousands at the Covelli Centre, an ice rink in Youngstown, Ohio. 'And I said 'Mr. President that is the right call.'
Clinton then took the opportunity to deliver a lengthy list of arguments against voting for Republican candidate Mitt Romney. Clinton joked that the audience was 'stuck' with him because his wife, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, 'has one of the two jobs in the government that doesn't permit you to be in politics.'
Ohio is a key state in the math that will decide the election and both Obama and Romney are blanketing the state in the final days leading up to the election.
'If we win Ohio, we win this election,' Biden told supporters, asking them to get out to vote.
According to Gallup, 15 percent of Obama's supporters have already voted and 33 percent intend to vote early, compared with 17 percent of Romney voters who have voted and 34 percent planning to vote.
Marilyn Ettinger, an Ohio woman standing inside the Covelli Centre as hail pounded outside, told the Tribune she had already voted, but was worried that the storm would prevent others from doing the same. She had driven an hour for the event.
Ettinger said she had already missed seeing Obama at another event in Cleveland due to weather and was disappointed he would not be in Youngstown. 'But the last time I saw Clinton was the last day before he won his second term, so I'm hoping that today I bring good luck to Obama.'
Meanwhile, as Hurricane Sandy came ashore on Monday night, the president placed calls to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy and Newark Mayor Corey Booker to offer his support and assistance according to ABC News.
'Obama called me last night around midnight to ask what else could be done and offered any other assets that we need,' Christie, a Republican, said on Good Morning America. 'I have to say the administration, the president himself and Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate have been outstanding with us so far. We have a great partnership with them, and I want to thank the president personally for his personal attention to this.'
Christie's enthusiasm for Obama's leadership could put him at odds with members of his own party but he scoffed at the suggestion, saying anyone who expected him to put the party before the disaster in his home state did not know him.
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