The presidential race
Spinning towards the finish
If the Romney campaign has evinced desperation recently, it has come in response to Hurricane Sandy. Huge disasters allow an incumbent to look presidential (most of the time), while the challenger must decide whether to cancel or continue his campaign. The optics are not fair. But in an effort to have it both ways, the Romney campaign on Tuesday turned a planned rally into an ineffectively rebranded "storm-relief event". It involved $5,000 of hasty cosmetic purchases at Wal-Mart, a host of non-perishable goods that the Red Cross said it did not want (but eventually accepted), and a lot of cringeworthy stagecraft. Noam Scheiber writes that the event was unintentionally revealing, in that it showed the limits of what private charity can accomplish after a massive disaster such as Sandy. He has a point.