Mary Grabar
Liberal media outlets presented President Obama as a competent and compassionate leader in the time of a natural disaster, last week’s Hurricane Sandy. Some attribute Obama’s slight bump up in the polls to the hurricane.

In contrast, Mitt Romney received vilificaton by MSNBC’s Martin Bashir and Andrea Mitchell. Both accused him of using relief efforts to disguise a campaign rally.

They made no such accusations of President Obama, even though his responses to disasters have become markedly more visible the closer he has come to Election Day. Photos and video footage show a president literally sprinting in a bomber jacket. But such images are quite a change from the glowing presentations of a glamorous host of parties in 2009, even as millions were devastated by an ice storm.

In the final week of this election season, in the midst of an ongoing recession and surrounded by a foreign policy failure that at least one commentator has called treason, Obama was eager to show his command of the situation. He held a press conference before the storm had even landed, gaining the criticism of former FEMA director Michael Brown. The White House released a photo of the situation room, prompting the Drudge Report to imply through a headline that no such activity was displayed in a situation room on the night of the Benghazi attack.

Yet, residents of the New York area devastated by the hurricane have reportedly been scavenging in dumpsters for food. Looting and violence are reported. While there seemed to be opportune time for President Obama’s photo ops in the “situation room,” FEMA could not seem to get it together enough to gather supplies, like water, for residents.

Mary Grabar

Mary Grabar earned her Ph.D. in English from the University of Georgia and teaches in Atlanta. She is organizing the Resistance to the Re-Education of America at Her writing can be found at