After Hurricane/Tropical Storm/Hurricane/Post-Tropical Cyclone Sandy pummels the East Coast and parts inland, she may turn out to decide the direction of the country for the next four years.
The storm poses physical risk to millions, and political risk for both presidential camps.
As people focus on the hurricane and the government's response, it effectively ends Romney's momentum. On the other hand, it creates both opportunity and peril for Obama, and much of that is not in his control.
If the response seems to go well, it pretty much seals the deal, especially in the swing states of Ohio and New Hampshire that are catching some of the storm. The president has something of a built-in advantage, because, at least initially, Americans tend to rally around their leader in the face of disasters.
On the other hand, if there's any hint of Katrina here, it could be just enough to tip Ohio and New Hampshire to Romney and with it the presidency.
Expect Romney to pick on anything that goes wrong and try to pin the blame on the president. That's somewhat risky for him because he can be accused of taking political advantage of human misery, but he didn't shrink from that with the killings in Bengahzi, and frankly, he doesn't have much to lose right now.
For two years, we thought it would come down to Barack and Mitt. But the decider could be Sandy.