Leading Where Bloomberg Failed
President Obama came to New York City last week and filled a leadership game created by Mayor Bloomberg's failures.As the Daily News stated:
The people of the storm needed a leader.
These rudderless victims say their borough president has completely failed them. Mayor Marathon Mike insulted them when he suggested running a race as requiem Mass bells pealed for their Sandy dead.
And so as the holidays approached like grim milestones, these good and weary people needed someone to cheer as a way of celebrating themselves.
The survivors drifted from their damp, moldy, powerless and damaged and destroyed homes on muddy, narrow side streets with names like Neptune, Seafoam, Wavecrest to wait for President Obama, the most powerful man in all the world, to descend in Marine One into the battered New Dorp section of the forgotten borough.
Bloomberg Sandy Blunder
Mayor Bloomberg failed the leadership test presented by Sandy when he pushed for the NYC Marathon to be run in the midst of the beginning of the cleanup and mourning of the loss of life that Sandy brought to our city. The borough most affected by the storm was Staten Island, the traditional starting place for the NYC Marathon. In fact, Staten Island suffered more than half of the deaths endured by our city as a result of Sandy.
Admittedly, cancelling the marathon threatened losses for the city in terms of reduced tourism dollars, reduced spending from the 1 million would-be spectators, and withdrawn sponsorship funds. But, the Mayor's statements in support of having the marathon move forward as if there was nothing unusual about the circumstances were both insensitive and unrealistic. Our city was somewhat in shock and is still rationing gas and assessing damage weeks later. Fatalities were still being discovered, and resources were desperately needed in the hardest hit areas in order to start the cleanup and begin the healing.
Bloomberg, who as late as Friday morning insisted that the world's largest marathon should go on as scheduled Sunday, changed course hours later after intensifying opposition from the city comptroller, the Manhattan borough president and sanitation workers unhappy that they had volunteered to help storm victims but were assigned to the race instead. The mayor said he would not want "a cloud to hang over the race or its participants."
The Mayor asked the President to visit New Jersey instead of NYC in the immediate aftermath of the storm as he declared that the marathon would be unaffected. The President was finally welcomed to our city by our Mayor, and the President helped remind us what real leadership is.