The approach of Hurricane Sandy has prompted first lady Michelle Obama to cancel a pair of planned stops in Boston on Tuesday.
“The first lady will no longer be attending,” a campaign aide told the Globe tonight, after requesting anonymity to speak about a decision that had yet to be formally announced.
The cancellation came hours after Governor Deval Patrick, a top surrogate for President Obama, declared a state of emergency for Massachusetts. The storm was expected to felt in the state on Sunday, with its full fury unleashed on Monday.
“While we continue to hope for the best, we’re preparing for the worst,” Patrick said during a news conference.
It also came moments before the White House announced changes to the president’s own schedule.
On Monday, following an event in Youngstown, Ohio, the president will return to the White House. His reelection campaign announced that events in Northern Virginia on Monday and in Colorado Springs on Tuesday were also being cancelled, though further changes to Tuesday’s schedule were pending.
In a statement, the White House said: “The president is being regularly updated on the storm and ongoing preparations, and he has directed his team to continue to bring all available resources to bear as state and local partners continue to prepare for the storm. ...The president will continue to receive regular briefings on these efforts, and has made clear that he expects his team to continue to lean forward as Hurricane Sandy approaches.”
The cancellation of the first lady’s visit to Bosotn also came a day after she cancelled another planned stop on Tuesday at the University of New Hampshire. School officials in Durham, N.H., decided to curtail all on-campus activities on Monday and Tuesday in expectation of the storm’s effects.
Michelle Obama had been slated to attend a $20,000-per-head roundtable discussion at Via Matta restaurant across the street from the Boston Park Plaza Hotel, followed by a low-dollar event with a bigger crowd at the Park Plaza Castle.
Tickets for the “Taste of Boston” event—which was to feature foods from local chefs including Will Gilson of the Herb Lyceum, Jody Adams of Rialto and Trade, and Gordon Hamersley of Hamersley’s Bistro—ranged from $250 per person to $2,500.
The first lady’s visit was to be the last to Boston by a campaign surrogate before Election Day.