Clever as we sometimes are, we had the perfect cover story in place for this post-election day issue of U.S. 1. Given that the presidential race would not be decided until hours — at least — after we went to press on late Tuesday afternoon, and suspecting that our readers would welcome a discussion of some subject far removed from jobs, deficits, taxes, and Chinese currency trading, we decided to make the issue of November 7 our fall dining issue.

Writers and editors were enthusiastic. Then came Hurricane Sandy. As we suggested in this space last week, the publication of our October 31 issue was achieved only by fortuitous decisions made on Monday, October 29. As the storm moved closer, we realized there was a strong possibility of losing power at our offices. So we accelerated our writing and editing process and shipped the paper off to our printer on Monday, 24 hours ahead of schedule.

A few hours later the power was out. But Philadelphia never lost power and the paper was printed and delivered perfectly on time Wednesday morning. So far so good.

But the power was still off on Roszel Road. We had to postpone the publication of the November 2 West Windsor-Plainsboro News to November 9. When Friday arrived and there was still no power we began to consider contingencies for this issue of U.S. 1. By the afternoon we had a plan, a difficult one, to run our computers one or two at a time off a gasoline-fired generator and extract the files needed for the issue. Then, in a perfect example of it never raining when you carry an umbrella, a minor miracle arrived. As our generator arrived in the parking lot, the lights came back on in the office.

But that still didn’t make putting this issue out any easier. The dining story that we envisioned was focussed on half a dozen restaurants, most of which still had no power. Photography would be impossible. So we postponed that editorial effort, and — in its place — decided to shine a little light on the Princeton University research center that is charged with promoting research and public policy dealing with energy issues and the environment. In this case we hope knowledge will be power.

About that presidential election Whoever is the next president of the United States, you can be pretty sure that he will have a goal making the U.S. “energy independent.” Mitt Romney has promised to do it in eight years.

This president joins the big club of presidents and presidential candidates making the promise, going back to Richard Nixon in 1974, proclaiming the goal would be realized by 1980. Later President Gerald Ford set the date at 1985.

Jimmy Carter set his sights on 1990. George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton both outlined plans to move toward energy independence but seemed to have avoided setting any firm dates. George W. Bush in 2003 declared that his goal was “to promote energy independence.”

His 2004 opponent, John Kerry, promised to “put in place a plan that frees our nation from the grip of Mideast oil in the next 10 years.”

As we write this on Tuesday afternoon, we hear there are still places in central New Jersey without power. Can one of you guys help us?

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