Sandy was headed north from the Caribbean, where it killed more than five dozen people, and was expected to hook west toward the mid-Atlantic coast and come ashore late Monday or early Tuesday, most likely in New Jersey, colliding with a storm moving in from the west and cold air streaming down from the Arctic. The series of events has created a potentially devastating mix that could affect the lives of 50 million people from the East Coast to the Great Lakes, forecasters said.
It was Rahm Emanuel who, early in the Obama administration, uttered these chilling words: “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” And thus was unleashed the storm of totalitarianism that has flooded the halls of Congress and the main streets of America ever since.
Now that Hurricane Sandy has shut down the stock market and a large part of the economy along the East Coast, Obama is wasting no time:
President Obama traveled the nearly three miles from the White House to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s headquarters for a briefing by agency officials and a conference call with governors from states in the storm’s path. The president pledged federal aid to states affected by the storm.
“My message to the governors, as well as to the mayors, is anything they need, we will be there, and we will cut through red tape. We are not going to get bogged down with a lot of rules,” he said.
Later Sunday, he declared a state of emergency in the District, as had been requested by city leaders.
We certainly don’t want rules and red tape to get in the way of government solving problems for the people, do we? Of course not!
The liberal New York Daily News could scarcely contain itself with the “opportunity” that Sandy is giving the president to revive his faltering campaign:
If the big storm hits the way it is supposed to, if it pounds the beaches of South Jersey and has waves crashing into Battery Park, then Barack Obama won’t just be running hard in Ohio and Florida this week, two small-time states now treated like headliners. He will be here.
He will be here as President Obama and not Candidate Obama, be here for something more than another money grab, will probably end up standing in Battery Park with Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, who lives in that neighborhood and has no known political affiliation.
Everyone’s on board! Even Chris Christie, who doesn’t appear to be running for anything, at the moment:
The President will also stand with the increasingly independent mayor of this city, Michael Bloomberg, before he goes down to New Jersey, as he has done before in the aftermath of natural disaster, to stand on the beach with the Republican governor of that state, Chris Christie.
It will be a “transcendent” moment for the president: an opportunity for him to lift himself above the fray, above the squalor of the campaign, and appear to be “presidential,” at least until Sandy blows herself away:
And this will be one of those moments that transcends the general lousiness of this campaign, that involves the real life of this country that the candidates talk endlessly about, and not the latest tracking poll from Ohio or Florida.
Never let an opportunity go to waste.