Bloomberg: Villain of the Piece?

by Charles C. W. Cooke

On Tuesday, inexplicably, Kathleen Parker was so impressed with Michael Bloomberg that she tweeted:

Whoever the “lots” of Parker’s imagination were, they’re probably not thinking “President Bloomberg” now. In the past 24 hours, the story has changed dramatically, and Bloomberg has start to look like a villain in the piece. There are now serious questions about the mayor’s preparation. As weather nerd Brendan Loy has been arguing since before the storm hit, Bloomberg’s statements were incoherent and his plan was a mess. On Saturday, Loy wrote:

Let me be clear: I have literally no f***ing idea what Bloomberg is talking about. As closely as I’ve been following Sandy, I have not seen anyone else — literally not a single meteorologist or any other person — suggest that Sandy will produce a “slow pile up of water.”… Can New Jersey please annex New York City so we can get Chris Christie in there to fix this? Good lord… Whatever Bloomberg’s rationale, he’s just absolutely dead wrong, as noted by The Weather Channel’s Jim Cantoreand Bryan Norcross (who calls Bloomberg’s press conference “incomprehensibly inexplicable”), The Wall Street Journal’s Eric Holthaus, New York Fox 5′s Nick Gregory, WeatherBell’s Ryan Maue (“Bloomberg has baffled everyone with his bizarre press conference”), and many others.

And on Tuesday, after the storm had hit:

Yes, I’m angry at “Hizzoner.” Not for failing to prevent an act of nature, but for failing to do his damn job properly — and, worse, grossly misleading the public — during the run-up to this extremely well-forecasted storm. Yes, I think a public accounting of his gross errors is required, at a bare minimum.

Recent days have not brought much joy for the mayor. In addition to his callous insistence that the NYC Marathon go ahead as planned, Bloomberg used his political capital yesterday to endorse Barack Obama for president — politicizing Hurricane Sandy as the product of “climate change” in the process. Compare this use of time with, say, Chris Christie’s.

The state of Staten Island, meanwhile, is an emerging horror story. Per the Huffington Post:

Hurricane Sandy brought devastation down on all of New York City’s boroughs, but the scale of the damage on Staten Island has some experts wondering if its communities will ever be the same.

“The stories are harrowing and it’s hard not to get emotional,” Claire Regan of the Staten Island Advance told HuffPost Live on Thursday. “Nothing could ever compare to [9/11], but there are a lot of the same emotions.”

As of press time, 36 fatalities due to Sandy have been reported in New York City. At least 14 of those deaths occurred on Staten Island, in the borough’s evacuation zones, according to the Staten Island Advance.

The National Guard is working with the FDNY and the NYPD on search and rescue efforts on Staten Island, Regan said, but many low-lying coastal areas remain inaccessible because of flood water. This has led to some dramatic rescues, as well as heart-wrenching tragedies.

Thursday morning, police found the bodies of two Staten Island boys, ages 2 and 4, who were swept out of their mother’s arms when waves of water crashed into their SUV, the New York Daily News reports.

Earlier this week, the NYPD released video of four helicopter rescues made on Staten Island Tuesday, in which five adults and one child were airlifted to safety from the roofs of their submerged homes amid rising water.

On Monday night, an off-duty NYPD officer drowned after rescuing seven family members from his Staten Island home.

The Corner

The one and only.