31 Oct 2012

Obama cancels events, Romney to resume campaign

10:28 pm on 31 October 2012

United States president Barack Obama has cancelled planned campaign appearances in Ohio, a key election battleground, following a devastating super-storm.

At least 40 people have been killed, millions are without power and transport across the north-eastern part of the country, including New York, has been severely disrupted by Sandy.

Emergencies have been declared in New York State, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Mr Obama's Republican rival, Mitt Romney, has gone to Ohio, but only to talk about the storm ahead of the election on 6 November.

The White House says the president was updated throughtout Tuesday as Sandy carved its way up the coast, signing two declarations of disaster in the small hours.

Mr Romney converted a rally into a storm event and supporters were encouraged to bring along canned food and essential supplies to help those trapped.

But there are very different calculations for the two candidates, the BBC reports.

Mitt Romney risks being squeezed out of the debate and is resuming campaigning on Wednesday, while Barack Obama has cancelled his events.

For the president, being seen to do his job and do it well is worth a thousand rallies.

Campaign manager resigns

A Twitter "troll" who became an online villain after several false tweets about Sandy has apologised and resigned from a Republican congressional campaign.

The micro-blogger, ComfortablySmug, claimed that the New York Stock Exchange was flooded and that Consolidated Edison was shutting off all power to New York City during the storm.

Both so-called "breaking" news posts were refuted by authorities - but not before being retweeted hundreds of times, sparking panic as the massive storm devastated the east coast, AFP reports.

An online news site later identified the tweeter as a 29-year-old hedge fund analyst and campaign manager of New York Republican congressional candidate Christopher Wright.