If I were Mitt Romney I’d be wicked pissed right now. (“Gosh!” I’d probably say. “Shoot!”) The election is only a few days away and the Republican presidential candidate is in an unfortunate position: to campaign as though the east coast didn’t have more pressing concerns he’d be criticized as insensitive or maybe, in a more optimistic assessment, irrelevant—but in the meantime, there’s really nothing doing. Romney returns to the trail today after a couple days’ downtime, with a last-minute blitz planned to start on Friday, though you can’t imagine it drawing a lot of attention. Romney’s not the president; unlike Barack Obama, he doesn’t have an actual job to do if he’s not trying to convince people to vote for him, and especially not a job where he can be seen having a direct, salutary effect on hurricane relief efforts.

Not for lack of trying. A scheduled rally last night turned at the last minute into a “storm relief event” that sounded, per Buzzfeed, a little awkward. The plan was to ask attendees for canned and dry goods donations, which Romney would get photographed loading into the back of a rented truck, to be sent off east. The campaign worried they’d come up short, though, and McCay Coppins reports that “the night before the event, campaign aides went to a local Wal Mart and spent $5,000 on granola bars, canned food, and diapers to put on display while they waited for donations to come in.”