How elected officials in Sandy’s path have responded to the storm

October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy plowed into a large chunk of the East Coast on Monday, prompting pols in various states up and down the Eastern Seaboard to oversee preparation and relief efforts. Here’s a rundown of a few key elected officials who have been keeping a close eye on Sandy, and how they've reacted:

President Obama: The president canceled a Tuesday campaign trip to Wisconsin to remain in Washington to monitor the storm, and he is headed to New Jersey on Wednesday to survey damage with Gov. Chris Christie (R) and thank first-responders. Christie, who hasn’t been shy about criticizing the president, praised the Obama's response to the storm.

Chris Christie: New Jersey’s outspoken Republican governor has put politics squarely on hold, praising the Obama administration’s response to the needs of his state and underscoring how low on his priority list next week’s election is right now. While he wasn’t picking any fights with Obama, Christie tangled with the mayor of Atlantic City, whom he slammed for not spurring residents to evacuate.

Overall, Christie’s response has been swift, and his no-nonsense brand of leadership has shown through. He could still face snags in the relief process during the days to come, but for now, he hasn’t made any obvious missteps.

During the 2010 snowstorm that seized the northeast, Christie faced criticism for vacationing before the storm hit.

Michael Bloomberg: New York was hit hardest by Sandy, meaning the independent mayor faces an extensive relief effort. “The damage we suffered across the city is clearly extensive, and it will not be repaired overnight,” Bloomberg said during a Tuesday morning news conference

Bloomberg’s handling of the 2010 snowstorm prompted complaints from residents of boroughs other than Manhattan, and the secrecy surrounding his whereabouts didn’t help him. A robust response to Sandy could renew confidence in the mayor among some constituents. 

Cory Booker: The Democratic mayor of Newark’s response to Sandy lived up to his reputation for being a hands-on politician. Booker traveled around the city into the night and took to Twitter with words of caution and updates on his whereabouts.

“Still in the West Ward. So many trees down with power lines. Many streets blocked. Please stay off roads tonight and tomorrow,” the mayor tweeted late Monday night. Booker was an avid Twitter user during Hurricane Irene and the 2010 snowstorm that slammed the Northeast. 

Martin O’Malley: “We were spared the worst,” the Maryland Democratic governor said Tuesday. “It’s clear we were fortunate to be on the weaker side of the storm.” O’Malley sounded some preemptive alarm bells Monday in advance of the storm making landfall, when he said: “People will die in this storm. So folks will need to mind their families, stay home and hunker down.”

The second-term governor is not one to speak lightly about the prospect of power outages – which have been less common in the wake of Sandy, compared to the summer derecho that hit the region. He declared then that “nobody will have their boot further up Pepco's backside” to restore power then he would, and he repeated that line as Sandy approached. 

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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