* Meanwhile, Mitt Romney is refusing to answer reporters’ questions whether he would support eliminating FEMA. How is that not a bigger deal?
* Must read from Jonathan Cohn on what Sandy tells us about glib GOP return-it-to-the-states retoric and about why the federal government matters.
* I also recommend David Dayen’s similar take on the importance of government — and on how easy it is for one bad story to overshadow the good ones.
“We’ve clearly entered some parallel universe during these last few days,” GM spokesman Greg Martin said. “No amount of campaign politics at its cynical worst will diminish our record of creating jobs in the U.S. and repatriating profits back to this country.”
As Sam Stein drily notes, Romney’s “highly dubious television and radio ads” have “managed to offend both car companies.” Indeed, at this point, turnaround whiz Mitt Romney is at odds with executives at GM and Chrysler over what turned their own companies around.
* Is the map really expanding? Charlie Cook says that credible private polling indicates clear leads for Obama in Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, while Florida, North Carolina and Virginia are now “even money contests.”
* At a Romney “storm relief” event today, John McCain tore into Obama’s handling of Libya, which doesn’t all that relevant to storm relief.
* No end to it: Romney surrogate Norm Coleman privately assures Ohioans that Roe v. Wade is safe under President Romney, prompting Evan McMorris Santoro to remark that the push for Ohio has Romney’s campaign “saying a lot of things to a lot of people.”
* You’ll be startled to hear that social conservatives backing Romney have gone mum on Coleman’s Roe v. Wade promise.
* Mike Tomasky on Romney’s new claim to be the bipartisan conciliator in this race, and how dependent it is (paradoxically enough) on the Congressional GOP’s routine obstruction of Obama.
* Marcy Wheeler finds new levels of absurdity in Romney’s Jeep-to-China claims, ones that directly undermine Romney’s “turnaround whiz” routine.
* Interesting suggestion from GOP strategist Ed Rollins: The final crush of negative ads might lose their potency, given the ubiquitous imagery of Hurricane Sandy’s wreckage. Something tells me the Super PACs won’t be paying this one any mind...
* Richard Mourdock and Todd Akin get all the attention, but another GOP Senate candidate worth talking about is Arizona’s Jeff Flake, who has repeatedly voted against disaster prevention and response, even measures his own party supports.
* And a new Suffolk poll finds Elizabeth Warren leading Scott Brown 53-46, a finding that contradicts yesterday’s Boston Globe poll finding a tie. Keep an eye on the average, which puts Warren up 4.5 points.