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Hurricane Sandy liveblog: Obama says government will respond 'big and fast' (+video)

President Obama met Sunday with Federal Emergency Management Officials in Washington. 'We will cut through red tape,' he said. 'We are not going to get bogged down with a lot of rules.'

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A top Democrat: "Anything that disrupts campaign/candidate schedules at this point in the race is significant. These events are important to the campaigns as a way of activating and energizing voters (even more important in early voting states). The earned media pieces can be made up in other ways (satellite interviews, etc.), but there is no substitute for candidate travel. ...

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"Also, nothing galvanizes attention or sucks up more media bandwidth than a major weather event. The storm led all of the networks news broadcasts for the last three days and will do so for the next three, at least. I guess the net-net of that is that it helps freeze or solidify the race in place. If you believe that the President maintains a narrow but statistically important lead in the battleground states, anything that prevents Romney from getting traction or changing the dynamic is potentially important."

A Romney official: "The storm will help the Prez appear presidential but it's too late to move enough voters." An Obama official: "We remain confident in our ability to get our voters to the polls by Election Day. We had a big day on Saturday as in-person early voting started in Florida, with record turnout, and we expect that strong progress will continue ... into the week."

A Republican deeply involved in the campaign says that (literally) freezing the race may help Romney because "it diverts press attention [at a time when he has been portrayed as surging], but so much seems to be happening below radar now it might not matter."

Most clever take: 'Anyone who thinks they currently know who it helps/hurts is just making [stuff] up. This gives Chris Christie an opportunity to show leadership, and thereby help his reelect and [helps him] for 2016; unless it curtails Obama's [get-out-the-vote] operation in Virginia, in which case it helps Romney; unless it enables Obama to lead an effective federal government response, in which case it helps Obama; unless it takes Obama off the trail in Ohio, in which case it helps Romney.'

And a mischievous friend makes a devil's-advocate argument that it helps Romney: "Republicans are more motivated to vote than Dems…. Low turnout favors Romney. The storm can do nothing but depress turnout in places like Virginia and Ohio. And even Pennsylvania. People emerging from a week of no power on Nov. 6 are going to be in a grumpy, foul mood – not the kind of mood that screams 'vote incumbent.'"

Sunday Oct. 28 11:20 a.m.

Here’s what AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski is saying about the damage and disruptions Hurricane Sandy is likely to bring to the Washington, D.C area:

Conditions will deteriorate into Sunday night with the height of the storm Monday into Tuesday.

At this time meteorologists expect wind gusts in the neighborhood of 60 to 80 mph in the city with the greatest frequency of high gusts on the Eastern Shore and the Atlantic coast beaches.

Gusts this strong will down trees, power lines, send loose objects airborne and loosen panes of glass in tall buildings. Walking through city streets will be difficult and dangerous. Avoid walking or parking under trees. Large branches can come down with no notice.

A general 2 to 4 inches of rain will fall with locally higher amounts on the Eastern Shore and in the mountains to the west. Enough rain will fall in the local area to bring flash, urban and small stream flooding.


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