Politicians, on both sides of the aisle they supposedly want to reach across, talk a good game about bipartisanship. This week, during and after Superstorm Sandy, President Obama and Governor Christie of New Jersey showed what it is and what can get accomplished when actually practiced.
Sandy was wreaking havoc on the eastern seaboard, especially New Jersey. On the 29th, close to midnight, President Obama called Governor Christie asking him what the federal government could do to help. Together, they worked on the Major Disaster Declaration, providing recovery assistance. Craig Fugate, the FEMA administrator, said that based on the conversations Obama had with officials in New York and New Jersey, a verbal declaration was enough. Christie said:
“He worked on that last night with me…offered any other assets that we needed to help. I want to thank the President personally for his personal attention to this.”
This gets the aid to where its needed faster. By verbally declaring it, it doesn’t go through a full federal assessment.
Obama visited Christie today to look at the damage Sandy had caused. Christie told him that the hardest hit areas needed power and clean drinking water.
“I discussed all of those issues today with the president and I’m pleased to report that he has sprung into action immediately to help get us those things while we were in the car riding together. I cannot thank the President enough for his personal concern and his compassion,”
This is coming from a guy who slammed Obama in his speech at the Republican National Convention. Both of them put partisan crap aside and worked on getting New Jersey on the road to recovery.
It’s going to be a long road. My friend who lives in central New Jersey was spared this year. She is one of the lucky ones in town who has power. Neighbors are going to her house to cook and shower. Thankfully, the trees didn’t fall on the house. Branches were scattered on the ground, but they weren’t huge ones like last year.
My partner’s friend in Jersey City wasn’t as lucky. She texted her that she had waist-high water in her house. It’s really sad because this is her first house. She was so excited when she bought it. Relief can come faster to people like her thanks to bipartisan effort.
So what does Mitt privatizing FEMA would be cool Romney have to say about all of this? Not much. A campaign stop in Dayton Ohio was first stopped out of respect for the victims. Then it was resurrected as a storm relief event – which apparently was staged. Campaign aides hauled ass to Walmart to buy $5K worth of food and supplies for people to
hand to Romney while he says, “thank you” and smiles for the cameras. donate.
Reporters asked his senior campaign adviser, Kevin Madden, if Romney agreed with Christie that President Obama was doing a good job in handling the disaster:
“I believe the response is still going on so I’m not in a position to qualify the response by the federal government. I believe it’s still ongoing.”
Keep it classy, guys. Keep it classy.