The Conscience of a Liberal:
Maybe it’s just my bias that gives me the impression that there are more mean, self-centered whiners on one side of the aisle than on the other; but anyway, a spectacular performance by my governor:
When asked about the hundreds of people trapped in their homes for days, Christie said unless they lived on state roads, it’s not something his administration would have been able to change.Just brimming with generosity, he is.
“If someone is snowed into their house, that’s not our responsibility,” Christie said.
When asked about mayors who said they were forced to divert their resources to unplowed state roads instead of clearing local roads Christie said, “I know who these mayors are and they should buck up and take responsibility for the fact that they didn’t do their job.”
Mr. Media Training:
Christie’s inaction was a stunning act of political tone deafness. He should have learned from the litany of other recent high-profile optical disasters, such as when:
- President Bush was photographed looking out from his plane over New Orleans days after Hurricane Katrina wiped out the city
- President Obama and Vice President Biden were criticized for playing golf during the B.P. oil spill
- BP CEO Tony Hayward was filmed attending a yacht race as tarballs rushed ashore in Florida
In a crisis, people want to see their leaders at the scene, even if their presence doesn’t actually accomplish anything. Good examples of leaders in crisis include:
- Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s walking with an oxygen mask at Ground Zero in the immediate aftermath of 9/11
- President Bush visiting Ground Zero days after 9/11 and standing next to a rescue worker on a pile of rubble with a megaphone
- President Clinton delivering a tone-perfect speech in Oklahoma City after the bombing of a federal building killed 168 people
... the lessons learned from them remain equally as valid for smaller crises. One of those lessons is this: good leaders are visible during a crisis. In all three of the “bad” examples above, the leaders were AWOL; in all three “good” examples, they were present.