When President Obama took Gov.Chris Christie for a chopper ride over New Jersey to view the aftermath of Sandy, both men said there would be no politics discussed. But given that Christie has made it his key focus in the last year to lose no opportunity to launch a few zingers at Obama, you have to wonder what they talked about as the New Jersey beach — what’s left of it — drifted below them. Especially since Christie has been so effusive in his praise of the Commander-in-Chief over the last couple of days.
But this much is certain: All of the forecasts for a real doosey to hit the northeast were on the money. Then again, New Yorkers are a tough bunch and they will rebound. And what’s really encouraging is the amount of help they’ve been getting from politicians who have not been acting the part. I cannot recall a time when bitterly opposed people have been in such accord, and it does make you wonder how much could be accomplished if our leaders could just get along on a more regular basis.
The past year has been exhausting, to the point where normalcy is now one guy finding fault with the other each and every day, where something called the truth is hopelessly buried beneath a barrage of rhetoric, and where the slightest wrong choice of words is seized upon. Gone is the day where one can say, “Let me re-phrase that,” and given the chance to clarify a position.
There’s no question that there are smart people out there who can lead effectively, but even they fall victim to a public that has an appetite for clear winners and clear losers, in a manner that brings to mind the crowd lust for horrific crashes and injuries in a car race, as opposed to demonstrations of skill.
So it was refreshing today to see demonstrations of the latter. Today, for the first time in recent memory, we witnessed a genuine interest in the public good, backed up with real assurances of worthwhile action — on the heels of great beginnings. Today, there was no looking for someone to blame; there was an honest reaching out for assent. Today, at least in this one time of obvious need, the adults took charge, and it was definitely cool.