The storm put the president and the public to the test

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Those memories are etched deeply. Like people along the Jersey Shore, like people with homes out East, like businesses that have been destroyed and homeowners in the low-lying areas of our communities, all we can do is rebuild and begin making new memories. I believe that once the adrenaline rush subsides, we will begin to understand the enormity of this disaster and the fallout that will rain down on us for months and years. It will take time.

As I write, we’re just a few days from Election Day. By the time you read this, we’ll know who the next president will be.

The storm hammered us. It put President Obama to yet another test — another crucible. He dropped the campaign and picked up his day job, offering solace and money and the good faith and power of the U.S. government to those desperate for help. Mitt Romney had called for draconian cuts to the Federal Emergency Management Agency because it represents “big government.” That right-wing rant went out to sea this week, along with the homes of thousands of people along the coast.

If you live on Long Island, that very same FEMA is already responding to residents’ emergency requests. Loans, grants and payments are available to people who have suffered losses. FEMA announced that, for 10 days, the government will pick up the tab for emergency services, including getting mass transportation up and running in the New York area. No state could do this on its own.

This president has our back. Just ask Republican Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, who said that the president’s management of this crisis has been “outstanding.” Christie also told Fox News that he wasn’t interested in hosting a P.R. visit from Mitt Romney, who was clearly seeking some hurricane air time.

Sandy was an October surprise no one could have anticipated, but it allowed us to see the president in action. Quiet, calm and focused, he demonstrated true leadership during this attack from Mother Nature.

If I’m caught in a storm, I want him at the helm of my ship. I hope that by the time you read this, the president has gotten the vote of confidence he deserves.

Copyright © 2012 Randi Kreiss. Randi can be reached at

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