Mitt Romney received the endorsement of the Des Moines Register on Saturday. And while most times pundits talk down the importance of endorsements, this one is notable because of the paper's long history of endorsing Democratic candidates. Romney is the first Republican nominee since Richard Nixon in 1972 to receive the paper’s support.
Kathie Obradovich, a reporter from the Des Moines Register, joined The Cycle to discuss her paper’s endorsement – as well as the sentiment of Iowa voters. To Iowans, the economy is the most important issue, evidenced by the paper's rationale for endorsing Romney, applauding his prioritizing the economy, his previous record in business and with the Olympics.
But Obradovich also had another message regarding politics: while endorsements, campaigns, and politics matter, Hurricane Sandy shows that the election is not the be all and end all. With the Category 1 storm battering the East Coast, it's been a reminder that there are things more important than politics. When asked about the hurricane’s impact on the momentum of the Romney campaign, Obradovich noted that the momentum has slowed:
"The hurricane will tone down the sharpness of the rhetoric. It’s not bad for people to take a breath and have people focus on something that is happening in the world. People are too wrapped up in intensity of campaign. This is a good chance to put things in perspective.”
President Obama echoed that sentiment during a press conference earlier in the day stating that "the election will take care of itself next week." Right now, it is no longer the economy, stupid. The focus now is on Sandy.