CHARLESTON, W.Va -- The tragedy of superstorm Sandy spurred U.S. leaders to cease political squabbling and focus on aiding disaster victims.
President Obama halted campaigning and poured his energy into federal relief actions. Republican Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey practically hugged Democrat Obama for the president's "incredibly fast" help. When reporters asked Christie if he was betraying his party by praising Obama, the governor replied that he doesn't "give a damn about Election Day" amid his state's crisis. Right-wing commentator Rush Limbaugh called Christie "fat and a fool." (Some may think that label applies to Limbaugh.)
Similarly, in shattered New York, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a former Republican, publicly endorsed Obama for re-election. He said the Democratic president presents the best vision for America's future.
"Our climate is changing," Bloomberg wrote. "...Over the past four years, President 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."
In contrast, the mayor said, GOP nominee Mitt Romney previously took "sensible positions on immigration, illegal guns, abortion rights and health care. But he has reversed course on all of them, and is even running against the health-care model he signed into law in Massachusetts."
Bloomberg added that Obama supports "a woman's right to choose" -- and "when I step into the voting booth, I think about the world I want to leave my two daughters."
The storm brought chaos and calamity. And it produced strong actions by several leaders.