After taking a day and a half off, Mitt Romney returned to the campaign trail on Wednesday. With the response to Hurricane Sandy underway, President Barack Obama will be back on Thursday -- but is it too soon?
Life goes on, but a large part of the East Coast is still in desperate need of help. That begs an interesting question of whether now is the right time to campaign.
Romney was back to kissing babies in Tampa on Wednesday, but it was clear he was pulling his punches and stepping gingerly as he got back on the campaign path.
"There's not a rule book for this," Hamline political science professor Joe Peschek told FOX 9 News. "Both campaigns are making it up as they go along."
According to Peschek, only the Cuban missile crisis -- which happened just a couple weeks before the midterm elections -- comes close to the sort of campaign disruption being seen now.
For Obama, his detour may have been a golden opportunity. On Wednesday, he took an aerial tour of the damage in New Jersey with Republican Gov. Chris Christie, a Romney supporter and RNC keynote speaker who now has nothing but praise for the president.
"I cannot thank the president enough for his personal concern and compassion for our state and the people of our state," Christie said.
Romney, however, has a difficult balancing act of portraying compassion for the victims while getting back on the offensive. He'll also likely need to explain a remark he made during the primary debates that advocated dismantling the Federal Emergency Management Agency that is now springing into action.
"Any time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that's the right direction," Romney said. "If you can take it even further, send it back to the private sector. That's even better."