***We've revamped our afternoon Slatest newsletter to deliver a text-heavy recap of the day's top stories to our subscribers' inboxes. The most recent edition is below. Sign up here to receive The Slatest PM in your inbox daily before it is published online.***
THE WAY THE WIND BLOWS: Just how strong was Sandy when it reached New York City this week? Strong enough to push Mayor Michael Bloomberg into making a relatively last-minute endorsement of President Obama this afternoon.
The New York Times: "Bloomberg ... has been sharply critical of both Mr. Obama, a Democrat, and Mitt Romney, the president’s Republican rival, saying that both men have failed to candidly confront the problems afflicting the nation. But he said he had decided over the past several days that Mr. Obama was the best candidate to tackle the global climate change that the mayor believes contributed to the violent storm, which took the lives of at least 38 New Yorkers and caused billions of dollars in damage."
THE CASE FOR OBAMA: Bloomberg in an op-ed: "We need leadership from the White House—and over the past four years, President Barack Obama has taken major steps to reduce our carbon consumption, including setting higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars and trucks. His administration also has adopted tighter controls on mercury emissions, which will help to close the dirtiest coal power plants (an effort I have supported through my philanthropy), which are estimated to kill 13,000 Americans a year."
AND AGAINST ROMNEY: Bloomberg: "Mitt Romney, too, has a history of tackling climate change. ... But since then, he has reversed course, abandoning the very cap-and-trade program he once supported. This issue is too important. ... If the 1994 or 2003 version of Mitt Romney were running for president, I may well have voted for him because, like so many other independents, I have found the past four years to be, in a word, disappointing."
INSTANT ANALYSIS: In recent months, Bloomberg has made no secret that he was left unimpressed by Obama's first term, a sentiment that the mayor made clear in his op-ed this afternoon. Given that, it's unclear exactly how much his he's-the-better-of-two-bad-options endorsement will have on those somehow-still undecided voters out there. Regardless, Bloomberg's announcement is the latest sign that for the first time in a long time climate change is being thrust back into the national political discussion.
HAPPY THURSDAY and welcome to The Slatest PM. Follow @JoshVoorhees on Twitter or email him at email@example.com.
FROM THE TRAIL: Politico: "President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney were back in full swing on the campaign trail on Thursday, laying into their closing arguments in the few days they have left after the Hurricane Sandy-induced hiatus. For Obama, it was recounting his record and pledging to protect the middle class, while Romney returned to Obama’s failure to understand the economy and his favoring of bureaucratic solutions. ... [B]oth focused on the priority of the last five days of this race: winning over the remaining undecided voters who could sway at least seven—if not more—battleground states."
NYC AND FEMA: The Associated Press: "For the next week the federal government will pay all of the costs to help get public transportation and power restored to parts of New York and New Jersey hit hardest by Superstorm Sandy. ... FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate said President Barack Obama has approved requests from New Jersey and New York for the government to cover the costs for emergency transportation, including helping repair subway tunnels and get buses running, and power grid repairs for 10 days. He did not give any estimates of how much that could cost."
O-H-I-O: The Washington Post: "The Fix is moving Ohio from 'lean Obama' to 'tossup' in our presidential ratings amid a slew of polling that suggests that the race has tightened over the past month, even as the incumbent retains the slightest of edges."
CONGRESSIONAL REALITY CHECK: The Associated Press: "When the results are counted this Tuesday, Americans will have resoundingly rehired a big majority of the House and Senate despite railing for months about an ineffective, bitterly divided Congress. Help from the once-a-decade redrawing of congressional districts is one reason so many lawmakers will return to Washington. The first election after that politically driven process is typically a high point for those in office. But redistricting is hardly the only reason. The power of incumbency, with its name recognition and cash advantages, also is responsible."
SLATE QUICK HITS—
CHECKING THE TRAPS—
WSJ: "Utilities have restored power to about 1.4 million customers since Wednesday afternoon, but more than 4.6 million customers are still without electricity following superstorm Sandy, the Energy Department said Thursday."
Reuters: "Anti-government rebels killed 28 soldiers on Thursday in attacks on three army checkpoints around Saraqeb, a town on Syria's main north-south highway, a monitoring group said."
AP: "The Supreme Court reacted skeptically Thursday to the government's argument that police may detain residents of a home to be searched even if they are away from home when the search takes place."
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.