If Obama and Romney aren’t playing politics with Hurricane Sandy, then who is? Lord knows the GOP machine must be crapping themselves while Chris Christie sings Obama’s praises about disaster relief coordination. Meanwhile, Romney’s hands are tied, so he’s busy staging faux events with canned food – $5,000 worth to be exact, hardly five minutes worth of interest earned in one of his offshore blind trusts. Ryan’s already been caught photo-opping in a homeless shelter, washing pots and pans that were already cleaned. Meanwhile, Obama is working a 9 to 5 job with mandatory overtime. So who’s really making political hay out of Hurricane Sandy? Big disaster news gets big coverage, big enough to eclipse even a big presidential race…
…or is it?
I don’t fault Chris Christie for being big hearted enough to accept an open dialogue with Barack Obama in helping the State of New Jersey recover following Hurricane Sandy. It was the right thing to do, even if Chris Christie endorsed the other guy. Mitt Romney is on record saying that the Federal Emergency Management Agency should be privatized and states left to figure things out on their own; you know, shopping around, “value contracting” to anyone willing to swindle a buck out of people in desperation. There’s been no lack of desperation in America in recent memory, starting with the attacks during 9/11, through the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, droughts in the country’s midsection, earthquakes, floods in various parts of the nation, most recently along the Eastern Seaboard, and lest we forget Katrina… Privatize FEMA…?!!! Seriously…?!!! That’s almost as heartless as a “for profit” health care system.
Chris Christie’s no fool even if sometimes he looks and sounds like one. He knows Obama is the president for the next three months, and very possibly the next four years. Christie can’t get far enough away from Romney’s “privatize FEMA” comments, nor can Romney. Besides, Christie wants Obama to be reelected so he, himself can run for president in 2016. His heart won’t hold out until 2020 given the current weight at which he’s tipping the scales. If you’ll recall, Christie was Romney’s keynote speaker at the RNC Convention, and almost forgot to mention the “standard-bearer’s” name while chatting-up his own credentials. But Christie, for whatever differences are to be had with him, actually does love the State of New Jersey, and honestly wants to protect it. AND he wants to run for president; so why not invite Obama to chum along and scope out the catastrophe? It is, after all, the only sensible, mature thing to do.
However, Obama knows geography. Why didn’t he make a stop in New York City while he was visiting next door in New Jersey? Because Mayor Bloomberg wants to run for president someday too, but he’s willing to wait until 2020.
There’s long been rumors of “bad blood” existing between Mayor Bloomberg and President Obama. Obama knows where New York is, and he’s not unaware of the hurricane damage the city has sustained. Obama merely hasn’t been offered the keys to New York like he was in New Jersey. Obama reached out to Mayor Bloomberg and offered his help. I’d love to have been a fly on the wall for that conversation. Bloomberg doesn’t like Obama, not merely because the mayor is a Republican leaning independent, but because Bloomberg doesn’t like Obama’s stance on the Middle East. Obama doesn’t pander to Israel enough for Bloomberg’s tastes. Obama does too much “reaching out” to Arab nations trying to find a middle-ground that may or may not ever exist. Obama isn’t anti-Israel nor is he pro-Islam, he understands the insurmountable chasm between the two and keeps suggesting the high road to two different factions, neither of whom is willing to give an inch. Bloomberg doesn’t like Obama for the same reason Netanyahu doesn’t: It’s about Obama’s failure to play favorites.
In the end, the childish politician making hay out of human disaster is Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who made a political calculation to stand with his party rather than boosting the morale of his constituents. What’s important to the Mayor is refusing Barack Obama a photo-opp in the Big Apple. Meanwhile, Bloomberg realizes no aid or assistance will be denied New York City, only the physical presence of the President of the United States less than a week away from the coming election: Because it doesn’t serve his own personal self interests. Bloomberg knows he’ll still get FEMA cooperation. But say what you will about Chris Christie, he sure knows which teat to suckle.
UPDATE: Oh wait, everything’s changed…. Politics makes for strange bedfellows. After a full day of Obama/Christie bromance, Michael Bloomberg has just endorsed Barack Obama. Apparently the photo opp Christie got with Obama won him over. Who knows, that Big Apple photo opp could still happen. Staten Island might be a good place to start.