Hurricane Sandy attacked the Eastern Seaboard with a vengeance. Yet in its wake, we’ve also seen peaceful waters overcome the anger and tall tales that have plagued the presidential election for months.
We’ve also witnessed what can happen when partisanship is set aside for the greater good.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a vocal Romney supporter in the election, has also been vocal in his praise for the Obama administration and the president. And in a nation where bipartisan efforts are rarely seen these days, both Democratic and Republican governors in the affected states have echoed Christie’s words.
In every way, Washington’s response has been a startling contrast to 2005, when Hurricane Katrina destroyed small towns and large cities alike in Gulf Coast states.
It took not just homes, property and lives as it traveled, but confidence in the federal government’s ability to respond to a disaster of such force. This administration and its response could not have been any better.
President Barack Obama faced an event (especially a few days before Election Day) with which few other presidents can identify: How to do his job and not be seen as doing it simply to keep it.
He’s been criticized as having political motivations in doing so. But his chief critic in that regard is Michael Brown, the former (and unqualified) head of FEMA during the Bush years, who still blames the sloppy response on the states, especially Louisiana and its Democratic Gov. Kathleen Blanco.
Brown, now a radio host in Colorado, said in a broadcast that Obama responded quickly (and, in his view, “too soon”) so that “no one could second-guess him.” The man President George W. Bush praised as doing “a heck of a job” (and who was removed from his position of authority at FEMA just a few weeks after the storm), is still seeking to whitewash his role in the disaster of a response to a disaster by blaming others.
His critique of the president’s performance rings hollow and tastes of sour grapes.