A mayor’s legacy is determined by how he handles crisis. On a daily basis, most people are unaware of how a mayor (or any political figure for that matter) is impacting their daily lives. However, when the terrorists strike, the floodgates open, or the river overflows, the role of the mayor takes on unprecedented importance.
Since Tuesday, I’ve watched workers clear Central Park of fallen trees, set up stadium seats, and install tents intent that the show must go on. That said, the repercussions of the storm have left families across New York without power or water, struggling to put food on the table.
Before canceling the marathon on Friday, New York's Mayor Bloomberg faced a swelling fury amongst New Yorkers and made every effort to change the conversation. In the wake of the storm, NYC race director Mary Wittenberg announced a Race to Recovery Fund to aid those affected by Sandy; before the announcement was even over $2.6 million had been donated.
On November 1, Bloomberg successfully changed the conversation and surprised the nation by announcing his official endorsement for President Obama. In an editorial for Bloomberg View, Bloomberg explained that, “The devastation that Hurricane Sandy brought to New York City and much of the Northeast — in lost lives, lost homes and lost business — brought the stakes of Tuesday’s presidential election into sharp relief.” He goes on to explain that our climate is changing, and Obama is the only candidate capable of tackling this issue head on in the next four years.
While I assure you no one was happier to hear Bloomberg’s endorsement than I was, I could not help but find the timing rather convenient. Given the strong Democratic presence in New York City, Bloomberg’s announcement seemed like an incredible opportunity to appease disgruntled Democrats across the city, and change the subject.