Isaac could scuttle president’s campaign trips to battleground states

WASHINGTON—As Tropical Storm Isaac barreled toward the Gulf Coast Monday, the Obama reelection campaign prepared to adjust the president’s schedule if needed.

The president was scheduled to depart on Tuesday for a three-city college tour through battleground states: Ames, Iowa, and Fort Collins, Colo., on Tuesday and Charlottesville, Va., on Wednesday.

Obama is visiting the college campuses to boost enthusiasm for his campaign among young voters, a group that helped him win election four years ago. He also hopes to highlight differences with his presumed opponent, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, on jobs and education policy.

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Isaac, however, could create a political dilemma for the president, as it is for Republicans gathering in Tampa for their national convention, where they will formally nominate Romney for president.

The president could face criticism if he made the trips while the hurricane lashed the Gulf Coast. The decision to continue with the trips—or detour for a visit to the Gulf Coast—will likely depend on the severity of the storm.

Isaac’s current trajectory puts New Orleans in its path, and it could make landfall about seven years after Hurricane Katrina inundated the city.

The storm has already scuttled plans for Vice President Joe Biden to visit Florida on Tuesday. He was to have attended campaign events in Orlando and St. Augustine.

Because of the blustery weather, the Democratic National Committee cancelled a Sunday press conference that was scheduled for Tampa.

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