Snow Flaky


NEW YORK CITY – There’s nothing like a bitter winter storm to put Northeastern pols in the hot seat. And this week’s massive snowfall across much of New England and the northern Mid-Atlantic region seems to have done the trick.

In New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg spent a second day Tuesday batting back questions about his administration’s response to the Christmas weekend deluge, urging citizens to stay calm while city agencies work to clear the streets.

Across the river in New Jersey, Republican Gov. Chris Christie’s team is struggling to explain how both the governor and his second-in-command, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, ended up on out-of-state vacations during a widely forecast blizzard.

Original DVD cover

Bloomberg has taken two cuts, so far, at responding to the storm. First, there was a prickly Monday press conference in which he said the city was doing its best despite “the furious pace of the snowfall.”

“The city is going fine. Broadway shows were full last night,” said Bloomberg, who also took a five-borough tour of the city to survey the government’s response.

On Tuesday, Bloomberg offered a deeper nod to feeling his constituents’ pain, telling reporters, “I’m angry, too,” but “yelling and complaining about it doesn’t help.”

In New Jersey, the line of succession has made Democratic state Senate President Stephen Sweeney the acting governor in Christie and Guadagno’s absence, and a spokesman for Christie insisted that the situation is under control.

“I honestly don’t understand what the big issue is,” said press secretary Michael Drewniak, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Yes, it’s a big storm, but nothing has changed as far as the functions of government.”

That keep-calm-and-carry-on message hasn’t calmed critics on either side of the Hudson, however. The Star-Ledger, New Jersey’s largest newspaper, jabbed at Christie and his absent lieutenant governor in an editorial beginning: “When the boss is away, you fill in.”  “Maybe next year, the state’s two top executives will plan their vacations better so someone from the team is in charge. That’s how this was supposed to work,” the paper continued.

Two mayors of Washington have struggled with the politics of heavy snow: Marion Barry, who was caught out of the city at the Super Bowl in San Diego during blizzard season in 1987, and Adrian Fenty, who drew sharp criticism for his snow removal efforts earlier this year.

The problem for Fenty, said one Democratic strategist involved in DC politics, was that the less than vigorous blizzard response confirmed one of the voters’ major complaints about him: “It was another example of how this guy is ignoring our community.”

“It wasn’t a top-of-mind issue for many voters, but it was one of these issues that was constantly percolating under the surface,” the strategist said. “It just sort of confirmed the impression, particularly in the more poor neighborhoods, that he was ignoring them. Because everyone was hearing about how up in Ward Three [in more affluent Northwest DC] their streets had gotten plowed.”

It’s not clear that either Bloomberg or Christie – or Guadagno – will face Fenty-like consequences for the storm this week; Fenty lost a September primary to incoming mayor Vincent Gray. Bloomberg has said he will not run for another term as mayor and it’s unlikely that snow removal would become an issue for a larger-scale campaign.

Christie, meanwhile, has three years left before he has to run for reelection. The fallout could be greater for Guadagno, who is New Jersey’s first lieutenant governor since the job was created in 2005.

“People are pretty shocked that both would be out of state at the same time,” said Rutgers professor David Redlawsk, who heads the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling. “The whole point of the lieutenant governor was to have somebody to step in for the governor who is part of the same team.”Redlawsk pointed out that one of Christie’s signature issues – fighting powerful government employee unions – could look differently amid a major snow cleanup effort.

“Much of what we’re seeing is a combination of the strength of the storm and cutbacks because of the budget crisis,” he said. “Layoffs of municipal employees can’t be helping the situation. Whether that will affect attitudes towards Gov. Christie remains to be seen.”


Newark Mayor Cory Booker, a Democrat viewed by his party as a rising star, has crisscrossed the city personally to help clear snow and has kept a running, very public log of his efforts on Twitter.

“I’m on it,” Booker tweeted, in response to a user who said their car was covered in snow on Cutler Street.

Another user tweeted, “my mom stuck on 9th ave and 12th that whole block wasn’t plowed,” prompting Booker to respond: “I will get someone to your mom’s street, tell her to stay put.”


Filed under Democrats, humor, Michael Bloomberg, movies, New York City, parody, politics, Republicans, snark, Wordpress Political Blogs

21 responses to “Snow Flaky

  1. While Christie is off at “the happiest place on earth”, NJ residents are in “too much snow hell”. Having the Lt. Guv away on vacation @ the same time was a huge faux pas. Clearly they did not understand the concept. Having him off with Cinderella & Mickey Mouse does have a kind of *so long suckers*… feeling to it.
    But it is the 21st century. He can be sent video, updates, etc via internet & declare a state of emergency while having lunch with Goofy @ Disney World in Florida. Not like the guy was going to be personally shoveling snow if he were in state. But obviously, taxpaying resident who pay the Guv & Lt Guv salary have the right to feel like one of them should be at the helm during a crisis.
    As for Bloomberg…. some of the lack of street clearing proved fatal- a birth during the storm resulted in the baby dying, and another resident had a deceased relative stuck in the house for more than a day after he died, because they could not get to the house.
    When you live in a major metro area, you do expect better service… or basic service. It’s a mess. I bet there will be lawsuits.

    • i think the biggest thing is that cc left when he knew a blizzard was on its way. he got out while the gettin’ was good without a thought to the people he’s supposed to serve.

      i heard those stories about the people in nyc. so sad. there was also the citizen who had a heart attack and had to be carried 4 blocks through the snow, because the ambulance couldn’t get any closer than that.

  2. Doug

    I wouldn’t be too hard on the Lt Gov. She’s visiting her Dad who has stage 4 cancer of some sort.

    • hey doug!

      welcome back.

      color me skeptical. when asked why the lt gov was going out of town, the spokesman for the gov. repeatedly said that she was going on vacation. not a word about her father. now, i don’t doubt that her father is in mexico and that she’s spending time with him, but it sounds to me that her father’s illness is being used as a convenient excuse. i don’t know how bad his condition is, but apparently he’s well enough to travel out of the country. that makes me wonder if the lt gov might not have been able to postpone her trip until the gov returned. if that wasn’t possible, then why didn’t cc postpone his trip? whatever the case, they acted irresponsibly, so they still don’t get a pass from me.

      i’m such a meanie. 👿

  3. jean-philippe

    From Montreal, it’s hilarious to watch New York struggling so much.

    Here, we know that if we cut ressources in snow removal to cut taxes, something bad is going to happen.

    • that’s what gets me more than anything. it’s not like it was a big surprise that it’s going to snow in the northeast. you’d think that they’d have all this figured out in advance, and someone just has to pick up a phone to put everything in motion. unfortunately, this will play out the same way all over the country when other disasters hit. when you cut the budget so that rich people can hold onto their money, then everyone will suffer, including the rich (though not as much as everyone else).

      • jean-philippe

        So funny to watch him frown and yell… He KNOWS he’s the only one to blame because wishful thinking made him cut staff and now he tries to pass the buck.

        I used to respect the guy because he didn’t seem to like BS… So naive, once again…

      • jean-philippe

        Oh and have a grea 2011 year, Nonnie!!

        I wish the GOP nuts will keep providing you with easy targets.

        And no more hand pain. Ever.

  4. And Corey Booker looks better all the time.

    • corey booker is one smart cookie. not only did he handle a disaster well, but he played the political game perfectly by twittering all his good deeds. then he made himself look even better when he defended bloomberg. not only did he sound like a nice guy, but by saying that snow disasters are difficult, he makes himself look like even more of a hero.

  5. Everyones out of money. TV news said last week that the Calavera County Sheriffs Department had to let 14 deputies go for lack of funds to pay them. And most of these small towns do not have a police dept. Bottom line is: unless you have a bullet hole or a knife stuck in you DO NOT call 911! As far as the snow goes they have a strict chain regimen around these parts and you will install them or go back down the hill. All the roads that go over the mountain passes have gates. When there is heavy snow in the passes, they close the gate and you might not use the road untill spring thaw. The smart thing to do in snow prone areas is to keep a reasonable stockpile of grub and stay in till it lets up. I just hope that one of those freak weather events that happened in the settler days doesn’t repeat when a low pressure system got stuck on the western Sierra and dumped 48 feet of snow in a three day period, the national record, though I believe one event accumulated 52 feet over 30 days! Brrrrr!

    • new joisey is out of money, because cc wanted his rich friends to have tax cuts. i feel sorry for the small towns, because they’re at the mercy of the states. they’ll be the first casualties of budget cuts.

  6. Snoring Dog Studio

    Never, ever say, “The city is going fine. Broadway shows were full last night.” People can take a lot of discomfort, inconvenience and misery if their leaders demonstrate that they have even a modicum of compassion and empathy for them. So, the rich made it to the Broadway shows. And that’s all that matters, huh?

    • why do rich people always gauge how things are going by how well rich people are living? that drives me crazy. i’m sure that the people who are stuck in their homes and can’t get to the doctor or to the supermarket are wringing their hankies, worrying over whether the rich folks made it to a broadway show. 🙄

  7. I am surprised lardass Christie didn’t blame it on New Jersey’s school teachers. South Buffalo got about 3 feet a week ago and our idiot mayor is catching holy hell for the lackluster job they did here too. Our old Irish mayor of yesteryear told everyone to get a 6 pack and chill. That’s about it. Happy New Year.

    • hey mick! 😀 nice to see you!

      i guess cc is too busy stuffing his face with mickey burgers, and he can’t and blame the teachers, because he can’t speak. he’ll find a way to blame them or obamacare or maybe nancy pelosi for making it snow in joisey.

      happy new year, mick! let’s hope it’s a good one. 🙂

  8. afrankangle

    Happy New Year Nonnie and all the best for 2011.

  9. Distributorcap

    Where does one start. Keep cutting budgets and services have to be cut. Even rich people get snowed in tho they can hire the unemployed to shovel it. The callousness of that tub of lard Christie may sink his presidential ambitions. Let’s say the lt gov did have to be with her father, then Christie as gov should have stayed in NJ. The man has zero concept of what PR is , then again look at him. Both blomberg and Christie will suffer politically from this, tho mike could care less.

    • the best campaign commercial against christie would be a surgeon leaving a patient with blood flowing out of him, a fireman leaving a blazing fire with people screaming from the windows, and a cop walking away from someone getting robbed. they can all say that there’s nothing more important to them than taking their kids to a promised trip to disney world. i can understand family being important, and you don’t want to break promises to your kids. however, it’s also important to teach your kids that sometimes they can’t have everything they want, because people have responsibilities, and sometimes there are things more important than a trip to disney world. it’s not like his kids are toddlers. the 2 older ones could have helped his wife with the younger ones.