On the other side here, Dee Dee Myers, who was Press Secretary for President Clinton, is a contributor to Vanity Fair now and David Gergen, who worked for Presidents Reagan and Clinton; he is now at Harvard.
So, Peggy, let me just start with you. What do you think the impact of this storm is going to be? Did it hurt Romney, did it help the president?
NOONAN: Well, the impact in the northeast itself has been very bad. A lot of people suffering up there. Some people calling it their Katrina in -- in a very unhappy way, of course, in part because it's cold. It's a cold Katrina and people are without heat and electricity, so it's very tough.
How does it play politically? We'll know in retrospect, I think like everything else in this race, it is not known at this point how it will play. You can argue that the president looked commanding and like a leader when he came up to New Jersey.
You could also argue that things are starting to look a little tough in some of these neighborhoods in New York and Jersey. And so that might work against him.
It -- it -- it's hard to say, but one thing I think is probably clearly true and that is the fact of the storm took the subject matter of Mitt Romney's closing statement, the end of his campaign, his big arguments sort of snuffed that out a little bit for a few days. Inevitably as we all talked about the storm, we weren't talking about the economy,, we weren't doing all of that stuff.
So in some way that may have hurt them and yet at the same time that all that was happening in West Chester, Ohio, he was pulling out 30,000 people on a dark, cold night.
So balance that out.
SCHIEFFER: But -- but what you're saying, I mean I don't think anybody sitting at this table would think that the storm would cause New York to suddenly go Republican or New Jersey...
NOONAN: Oh my goodness no.
SCHIEFFER: ... government politics...
NOONAN: No, no, no.
SCHIEFFER: But I guess -- I guess the question is what we saw in that -- that time period there, does it go out to the rest of the country and have an impact there? What do you think, John?
DICKERSON: Well I think coming out of that, if you look at the question of momentum, which is always hard to define. Coming out of that debate in Denver, Mitt Romney had two kinds of momentum, he had Republicans behind in who felt excited about him afresh. It wasn't just that he was the vessel to beating Barack Obama, they liked him.
I think that momentum stays intact. There was another force propelling after that debate, though and that was undecided voters or soft Republicans who hadn't yet bought the sale on Mitt Romney; came out of Denver doing well with that. That started to dissipate long before Sandy hit.
So then, sort of the president and Mitt Romney were fighting for that second force and what they needed was a last moment that one of the two of them could be in the front pages looking like a person who is of the moment and Mitt Romney lost several days because of the -- the storm, to be the man of the moment and the president, because he was president was the man of the month for those late deciding voters who haven't been paying attention to the race, they turn on their TVs, that's what they see, I think that, to the extent anybody benefits politically that probably helps the president.
UNKNOWN: Bob, there's -- there's a reason why of the ten incumbents who sought office again since World War II, seven have won. The powers go with the presidency and a moment arises when you act presidential and I think he did, I think he handled it very well, that you're going to bump out of that.
I think he got a hurricane bump out of this and it -- and it was part of a bigger tapestry for the week and that is he had a pretty good week. And I think he got some lift out of the whole week. He had not only the way he handled the hurricane, but those we kisses from Governor Christie, who could have imagined?
And -- and -- and Mayor Bloomberg, Colin Powell's endorsement this week, which he's -- he's using as advertisements and he had OK job numbers on Friday. They weren't -- well they weren't good, they weren't bad and he, you know, he dodged a bullet.
So, all that together I think gives him that little cresting that you look for in a campaign right toward the end as you know so well.
SCHIEFFER: Rich, do you think it helped or hurt the president?
LOWRY: I think it helped him at the margins.
Look, it interrupted Romney's argument. It forced the president for a couple of days to act and look presidential, which I think suits him much better than being out there and making jokes about Big Bird and Romnesia and all the rest of it.
Although he's gone right back to that kind of sophomoric tone the last couple of days and the robust embrace from Chris Christie at the very time Romney is trying to make the argument, I'm the guy who can work across the aisle better than the president.
But I'm not sure how long lasting this will be for the rest of the country. For New Jersey and New York, obviously, this is going to be a big story for a long time.
But the new cycle just moves so fast. For the rest of the country, Tuesday morning and they feel like it was a hundred years ago.
SCHIEFFER: Dee Dee?
MYERS: I -- I and I agree it was good for the president and people did get to see him being presidential and he's cool in a crisis. It's one of the things people have liked about him throughout his presidency whether is was the economic crisis or him getting Obama Bin Laden or whatever, he seems cool under fire.
So it reminded them that that's another thing that they like about him. His numbers in the northeast spiked quite a bit, so people either obviously felt good about it and that may -- and those are not swing states, so we're not going to see...
SCHIEFFER: New Hampshire?
MYERS: ... we could possibly -- they didn't get hit as hard but New York, New Jersey, Connecticut but it could drive vote -- vote totals up there for him which could be helpful just not losing the popular vote.
And it was a good week. And -- and -- and add to that, the endorsement by the Economist, which was unexpected. So I think for people who are in the middle, who maybe voted for the president four years ago who are, you know, looking for a reason to vote for or against him, you had Bloomberg, you had Colin Powell, you had the Economist, you had the Mayor -- I mean Governor Christie, so it was a reminder that they feel good about.
SCHIEFFER: Let me just-- I want to play a little video that was sent in to us that I think -- we have a young woman here who speaks for many Americans, maybe even for me. Here's what she had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GIRL: I'm tired of Bronco Bama and Mitt Romney.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's why you're crying? Oh! It will be over soon, Abbey. OK? The election will be over soon, OK.