NBC Anchor: Sandy 'Handed to' Obama, 'Seemingly from Above...'

By Elizabeth Harrington | November 5, 2012 | 10:50 AM EST

President Barack Obama visits the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for an update on the recovery from Hurricane Sandy on Saturday morning, Nov. 3, 2012, in Washington. He is flanked by FEMA chief Craig Fugate, left, and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, right. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(CNSNews.com) - NBC’s chief legal correspondent and “Today” show anchor Savannah Guthrie said Hurricane Sandy was “handed to” President Barack Obama “seemingly from above” to make his reelection more attractive to independent voters.

In an appearance on “Meet the Press” Sunday, David Gregory asked Guthrie if the “growing frustration” with the hurricane could impact the presidential election.

“Yeah, and it can change on a dime if people start feeling that the federal response isn't what it should be,” Guthrie said.  “But, look, when you have a race this tight, things like a hurricane -- this can move the needle when you're talking about a race that's so close. And I think it was an important moment for the president because in the last three or four weeks of the campaign I don't think he had been going out of his way to appeal to independents whatsoever.”

“This was a campaign built to turn out the base of the party,” she said.

“And here was a moment handed to him, seemingly from above, where he could look like that strong, independent, steady-in-a-storm, very appealing to the middle-of-the-road voters. And, I might add, to unmarried women voters who are going to be very key in this election,” Guthrie said.

President Obama made a second trip to FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) headquarters on Saturday, following news footage of suffering people, particularly in hard-hit New Jersey and Staten Island, N.Y.

"We still have a long way to go to make sure that the people of New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, and some of the surrounding areas get their basic needs taken care of and that we start moving back to normalcy, President Obama said.

"There's nothing more important than us getting this right.  And we're going to spend as much time, effort and energy as necessary to make sure that all the people in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut know that the entire country is behind them in this difficult recovery effort.  We are going to put not just 100 percent, but 120 percent behind making sure that they get the resources they need to rebuild and recover," he said, before heading out for a full day of campaigning.