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David Jackson, USA TODAY
President Obama and Republican opponent Mitt Romney have changed their campaign schedules as Hurricane Sandy approaches the East Coast.

Obama, who still plans to leave for Florida tonight, had been scheduled to stay on the campaign trail until Wednesday -- but he will now return to the White House on Monday night to monitor the impact of the storm.

The president has called off events in Northern Virginia and Colorado; he still plans to campaign Monday with former President Bill Clinton, with stops in Orlando and Youngstown, Ohio.

Romney has also canceled planned events in Virginia because of the storm effect.

Call it the Katrina effect.

No president, or any other politician, wants to take the kind of criticism that President George W. Bush did for the poor response to Katrina in 2005.

Here's the White House statement on Obama'a plans:

"Due to Hurricane Sandy, President Obama's campaign events in Prince William County, Virginia on Monday and in Colorado Springs, Colorado on Tuesday have been canceled.

"As the White House announced earlier this evening, 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.

"Additional changes to the President's schedule will be announced as warranted."

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