The election’s over. My bets were on President Obama in any case, but the rightful suspension of campaigning in the aftermath of the hurricane catastrophe seals Romney’s fate. Obama gets to look presidential, while Romney disappears. Even if that suspension lasts just a few days, it breaks any momentum Romney may have been building up. Perhaps he could recover it, but the chances are against him, I would think. Things may look differently outside the Eastern seaboard, where normal life still continues. But in the case of a disaster of this magnitude, people’s instincts are to preserve what they can of the status quo, my guess is.
In the meantime, many local officials in the tri-state area have been showing impressive leadership, above all the head of New York City’s crushed transit system, Joe Lhotta, a protege of former mayor Rudolph Guiliani. With any luck, Lhotta will ride his display of organizational skills and crisis management into City Hall as a dark horse candidate in the 2013 mayoral election. That field currently features one more disastrous tool of the welfare-industrial complex after another. And N.J. governor Chris Christie has again demonstrated his take-no-prisoners executive style. Our greatest thanks, however, go out to the anonymous members of the uniformed services who have been working without sleep to help the stricken and to restore the fruits of civilization to the storm path.