The politics of Christie’s Obama comments, in two ‘Times’ headlines

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Briefing: Bloomberg on Staten Island yesterday. (Edward Reed via flickr)
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In a "The Conversation" column with her colleague David Brooks about Hurricane Sandy, Gail Collins wrote:

Politics is about everything! How we organize our society. What responsibilities we have to our fellow citizens. I wish it could hold back the tide, but at least politics lets us figure out how we’ll prepare for the cleanup.

She was speaking broadly, in response to an assertion by Brooks that the storm had demonstrated that "there are many other things in most people’s lives that are much more important than politics."

But the statement certainly applies to official reactions to the storm, which undeniably have political consequences, and which have been covered, to varying degrees, as political actions.

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Hence the Times' story about Governor Chris Christie's joint appearances in New Jersey with President Obama whose current headline online is the warm-sounding and rather passive "One Result of Hurricane: Bipartisanship Flows." 

The original hed, from the looks of the URL, was considerably more transactional: "In Stunning About-face, Chris Christie Heaps Praise on Obama." Which, let's be honest, is the real story here, however sincerely arrived-at Christie's "about-face" happens to have been.

Less consequentially, a Daily News columnist attacked Rep. Carolyn Maloney for wearing a "pearl necklace, and full hair and makeup" to an appearance on MSBNC, on the grounds that "There’s no legitimate reason to wear a jacket inside a television studio unless you are trying to exploit a tragedy."

And a small Post story based on information from an unnamed official sought to blame some delayed emergency and rescue responses on pedestrian plazas and bike lanes—two of the Bloomberg administration's signature redesigns of the city landscape, and ones which the Post, institutionally, despises.

The Times editorial board hopes the bipartisan cooperation will continue. And it will, as long as the politics of the situation demand it.

Quote

"Come to my district, see what I see and say that to me. Better still, don't, because I would probably lay out your sorry ass."— Jimmy Oddo

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Scientists believe in man-made climate change, but aren't sure if global warming is responsible for Hurricane Sandy. [Justin Gillis]

Cuomo should stick with his overall agenda of building surge barriers, even though it'll cost billions and require a lot of government investment. [New York Times]

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn told Piers Morgan, "There are obviously enormous questions that NYU needs to answer," because the NYU Langone Center's backup generators failed and the patients in the facility had to be evacuated. [CNN]

The New York City Board of Elections is confident about its ability to stage elections on Tuesday. [Nathaniel Hertz]

Should the marathon still take place on Sunday? Bloomberg said yes, in part, because it helps local businesses. [Ken Belson and Mary Pilon]

Twitter has no plans to suspend @ComfortablySmug's account after he spread inaccurate information about the storm, and its executives don't want to be involved with fact-checking. [Jenna Wortham]

Polls

Michael Grimm and Louise Slaughter have padded their double-dight leads in a new Siena poll, while Bill Owens and Matt Doheny are in a dead heat upstate. [Siena]

President Obama leads by 6 in Iowa, by 3 in Wisconsin and by 2 in New Hampshire. [NBC-WSJ-Marist]

From Capital

What New York isn't (yet) doing about the next storm. [Dana Rubinstein]

Cuomo believes in climate change. [Azi Paybarah]

"In Breezy Point, whatever is not flooded is on fire," Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder said earlier. [Azi Paybarah]

"Swamped Manhattan." [Jed Lipinski]

Bloomberg's Super PAC is now spending aggressively in California and Florida. [Reid Pillifant]

What exactly is the National Unwatering SWAT Team? [Reid Pillifant]

Events

1 p.m. Mayor Michael Bloomberg provides an update on the city's response to Hurricane Sandy, in the Blue Room at City Hall. It will stream live here.

7 p.m. The Queens County Republican Committee hosts their annual "GOP Night Rally" — guests are asked to make donations to the Red Cross — at Dante's Catering Hall, at 75-07 31st Ave., in East Elmhurst, Queens.

Hurricane Sandy

A Daily News columnist defends Romney's FEMA remarks and criticizes Rep. Carolyn Maloney's appearance on MSNBC: "complete with pearl necklace, and full hair and makeup" and "There’s no legitimate reason to wear a jacket inside a television studio unless you are trying to exploit a tragedy." [S.E. Cupp]

Chris Christie says extremely kind, and politically beneficial, things about the president and his reaction to the storm. [Kate Zernike]

Bellevue Hospital was evacuated after its backup generators failed. [Nina Bernstein and Anemona Hartocollis]

Traffic in Manhattan yesterday was "an intolerable and dangerous situation," Cuomo said. [Ken Lovett]

Commuting into Manhattan was a nightmare for many. [Mattt Flegenheime and John Leland]

Yesterday, there was no bus service below 23rd Street in Manhattan because it was simply too dark. [Jennifer Fermino]

There's about 12,000 public pay phones in New York City, and they're very popular, since many people's cell phones are not working. [Ben Cohen]

Headline: "New York Region Faces Rescues, Looting and a Rising Death Toll." [James Barron]

Ten people in Brooklyn and fifteen in Queens were arrested for "looting."
[Josh Saul, Christina Carrega, Philip Messing and Larry Celona]

Headline: "Plazas, bike lanes add to peril." [Larry Celona and Jennifer Fermino]

Pictures of the East Village, in the dark. [Garth Johnston]

2012

Mitt Romney's closing argument is softer and more centrist than his earlier campaign rhetoric. [Michael Barbaro]

Romney issued a statement yesterday saying he would continue financing FEMA so that it can "fulfill its mission," after having previously suggested it should be privatized. [AP]

The new fronts for Republicans flush with cash: Pennsylvania, Michigan and Minnesota. [Dan Balz, Jerry Markon and Paul Kane]

Fox News debates Lena Dunham's Obama video. [Dylan Byers]

Nate Silver looks at the disparity between Obama's lead in swing-state polls and the deadlocked national polls, and comes down, uneasily, on the side of the states. [Nate Silver]

Eliot Spitzer repurposes a Republican attack line and asks, "Who rebuilt that?" [Current TV]

Congress

In NY-25, Rep. Louise Slaughter's latest ad criticizes Republican county executive Maggie Brooks for corruption, which Brooks' campaign dismissed as typical Washington-style negative campaigning. [WHEC]

In NY-11, Rep. Michael Grimm said, "My campaign is done." [Judy Randall]

The Syracuse Post-Standard calls Kirsten Gillibrand "one of the most liberal members" of the Senate in its endorsement, but says that fits the state's "progressive tilt," and "we’d prefer not to live in [Wendy] Long’s America." [Post-Standard]

A conservative website, with a boost from Matt Drudge, reports that two women in the Dominican Republican accuse Senator Bob Menendez of paying for sex. [Daily Caller]

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