A strengthening Hurricane Sandy disrupted the campaign for the White House Monday, with President Obama rushing out of battleground Florida to get Air Force One safely back to Washington and monitor the storm from the White House.
Republican nominee Mitt Romney was campaigning in the Midwest Monday out of the storm's path, but called off events scheduled in Virginia Sunday and New Hampshire Tuesday.
Obama, mindful of his need to show command in crisis while in the final throes of a tough re-election campaign, met with federal emergency officials Sunday before flying to Florida that night ahead of a rally scheduled for Monday at noon. But the intensifying storm heading to the East Coast took priority, with the president signing emergency declarations for New England states in the middle of the night from his Orlando hotel room.
By dawn the White House decided to call off the politicking. Air Force One lifted off for Washington around 8:30 a.m. EDT.