Slatest PM: Sandy's Political Odd Couple

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Oct. 31 2012 4:56 PM

Slatest PM: Sandy's Political Odd Couple Takes a Trip to the Jersey Shore

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President Obama speaks as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie looks on as they visit a shelter for Hurricane Sandy victims in Brigantine, N.J.

Photo by Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images.

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Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

HAPPY HALLOWEEN: Unless you live in New Jersey, in which case Happy Six Days Until Halloween!

SANDY'S STAGE: The Wall Street Journal: "President Barack Obama joined New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for an hourlong helicopter ride Wednesday to survey the damage caused by superstorm Sandy along the state's coast. ... The state is facing widespread power outages and likely billions of dollars in losses along its popular coastline."

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THE SCENE FROM THE AIR: WSJ: "The men met on the tarmac at Atlantic City's airport shortly after 1 p.m. and then took off in a helicopter to view the damage in towns such as Point Pleasant Beach and Seaside Heights, as well as Atlantic City. ... Mr. Obama saw houses flattened, a section of homes still burning and stretches of the state's boardwalk torn away by the storm. On one portion of Point Pleasant Beach, a town about 60 miles north of Atlantic City, someone had written 'ROMNEY' in large letters in the sand."

THE ODD COUPLE: NYT: "At the Brigantine Beach Community Center, President Obama praised Chris Christie ... for his efforts in responding to the storm. 'I want to let you know that your governor is working overtime,' Mr. Obama said to people who fled to the community center as a shelter from the storm. Mr. Christie quickly returned the compliment, saying of Mr. Obama, 'he’s been working with me,' and adding, 'It’s really important to have the president of the United States here.'"

IN NEW YORK CITY: The Associated Press: "Flights resumed, but slowly. The New York Stock Exchange got back to business, but on generator power. And with the subways still down, great numbers of people walked across the Brooklyn Bridge into Manhattan in a reverse of the exodus of 9/11. ... Swaths of the city were still without power, and all of it was torn from its daily rhythms."

AT BELLEVUE: New York Daily News: "Bellevue became the latest New York City hospital to evacuate when it began moving out about 500 patients Wednesday after two days of struggling just to keep the lights on, officials said. The city’s flagship public hospital ... had been running on backup power in extremely challenging conditions since Sandy sent 17 million gallons of water surging into the basement. The National Guard ferried fuel to the roof, where the tanks are located. But when workers got into the swamped basement to look at the generators, they realized the damage was worse than expected and decided to evacuate."

AND ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL: Los Angeles Times: "Mitt Romney offered sunny optimism about the nation's future —and no direct criticism of President Obama—as the GOP presidential nominee returned to the campaign trail Wednesday after a pause in stumping as Hurricane Sandy battered the East Coast. Romney, Sen. Marco Rubio and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush ... prefaced their remarks with thoughts about the victims of the major storm that killed dozens and left parts of the Eastern Seaboard underwater."

HAPPY WEDNESDAY and welcome to The Slatest PM, where your procrastinating host is in serious need of a last-second costume idea. Send your best ideas his way on Twitter @JoshVoorhees or in an email to josh.voorhees@slate.com.

STATE OF THE RACE: Real Clear Politics national average: Romney up by 0.2 points, 47.6 percent to 47.4 percent. RCP Ohio average: Obama +2.3 points, 48.9 percent to 46.6 percent. RCP Electoral College with toss-ups excluded: Obama 201, Romney 191. With toss-ups assigned: Obama 281, Romney 257.

PAGING NATE SILVER: FiveThirtyEight's latest projections: Electoral College forecast: Obama 299.0, Romney 239.0 (Obama +10.7 since last week); EC now-cast: Obama 298.8, Romney 239.2 (Obama +11.5 since last week). Chance of winning forecast: Obama 77.4 percent, Romney 22.6 percent (Obama +9.3 since last week); Chance now-cast: Obama 79.5 percent; Romney 20.5 percent (Obama +8.9 since last week).

THE PEOPLE'S PREDICTION: Most Americans Expect an Obama Victory

NAME THAT ELECTION: While we're on the subject of the electoral map, check out Slate's latest quiz, where we show you the map and you tell us the year.

READY FOR THIS THING TO BE OVER? You're not alone, as the virality of this video of a 4-year-old girl crying over the nonstop campaign coverage proved today.

SLATE QUICK HITS—

CHECKING THE NON-SANDY/NONELECTION TRAPS—

WSJ: "Barclays faces two new U.S. regulatory investigations into allegations of past misconduct, risking further damage to the British bank's already tarnished reputation as it reported a third-quarter loss."

AP: "Even as its past policies on sex-abuse prevention fuel controversy, the Boy Scouts of America is hosting an unprecedented closed-door symposium Thursday with other national youth organizations, hoping to share strategies to combat future abuse."

NYT: "President Hamid Karzai took a step toward fulfilling his pledge to hold Afghanistan’s presidential election on time, as officials said Tuesday that the vote had been officially set for April 5, 2014."

AP: "Billionaire investor Carl Icahn has seized on Netflix’s recent troubles to build a 10 percent stake in the Internet video service. ... Icahn’s filing with regulators didn’t specify why he decided to buy 5.5 million Netflix shares. But Icahn typically wields his stakes in companies to pressure changes in management and the board of directors."

TRICKS AND TREATS FROM SLATE

Stay safe. We'll see you back here tomorrow. But until then, tell your friends to subscribe, or simply forward the newsletter on and let them make up their own minds.

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