Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Profiles in leadership time as New Jersey's GOP Gov. Chris Christie and Democratic Mayor of Newark Cory Booker demonstrate what to do in case a major blizzard hits the Garden State...and what not to do.  Steve Benen:

Following up on an item from yesterday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) and his lieutenant governor were told Sunday about the blizzard barreling down on the Garden State. Soon after, they left town at the same time, with Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno (R) and her family flying to Mexico, and Christie and his family going to Disney World in Florida.

It left state Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D) in charge as the acting governor, and by all appearances, he's handling everything fine -- he declared a state of emergency, dispatched road crews, coordinated with state agencies, and activated the National Guard. The response seems to have gone fairly well, and Sweeney lifted the state of emergency this morning.

But there's still the political fallout to consider. Many are questioning why the Christie administration allowed both the governor and lieutenant governor to go on vacation at the same time, despite warnings about the impending storm. Others have noted that the governor isn't bothering to rush home to deal with the situation.

So both the Governor and the Lt. Gov. were told over the weekend that the state was going to get nailed Sunday night by a major snowstorm, and both of them left town as fast as they could for sunny points south of there.  Nice.

So what did Mayor Booker of Newark do in contrast?

Perhaps even more interesting was how Cory Booker spent his day. Booker, the Democratic mayor of Newark and likely gubernatorial candidate in 2013, grabbed a shovel to help seniors and the disabled, delivered diapers to a housebound mother, helped dig out a stuck police car, and tended to a woman in labor who was waiting on an EMS team to arrive.

So the Republicans bolt town and leave the Democrats to do the responsible governing part of the Governor's job when a mess comes barreling down the pike, and they come through admirably.  Meanwhile, Gov. Christie might be back by the end of the week from Disney World and the important things:  gym, tan, laundry.

Hey, governing is freakin' hard.


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