“I’m so glad we had that storm last week because I think the storm was one of those things,” said MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, saying that Hurricane Sandy promoted “good politics.”
Though he was quick to add that he wasn’t saying the storm was good in terms of hurting people. Even so, what a crude thing to say.
Meanwhile, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is already facing recriminations from some on the right for his praise of President Obama in the aftermath of Sandy. Case in point, Dick Morris:
In 2012, 13% of the vote was cast by blacks. In 04, it was 11%. This year, 10% was Latino. In ’04 it was 8%. This time, 19% was cast by voters under 30 years of age. In ’04 it was 17%. Taken together, these results swelled the ranks of Obama’s three-tiered base by five to six points, accounting fully for his victory.
I derided the media polls for their assumption of what did, in fact happen: That blacks, Latinos, and young people would show up in the same numbers as they had in 2008. I was wrong. They did.
But the more proximate cause of my error was that I did not take full account of the impact of hurricane Sandy and of Governor Chris Christie’s bipartisan march through New Jersey arm in arm with President Obama. Not to mention Christe’s fawning promotion of Obama’s presidential leadership.
It made all the difference.
That seems fantastically unfair to Christie, and President Obama. What was Christie to do? Inject partisan politics into the middle of a natural disaster crisis? Setting aside the fact that our increasingly federalized disaster response tactics were about as inefficient as ever, Obama seems to have done about as good of job as could be expected of any president in response to Sandy. And Christie praised him for it.
I’d hope that wasn’t the deciding factor for voters, I hope they cast their ballots on a broader set of criteria than that, but that doesn’t justify aspersions cast in Christie’s direction.