Getting Priorities Right When Disaster Strikes

There comes a time when party politics should be suspended for the greater good, and now is clearly such a time.

And in that sense, the photo of political rivals Chris Christie and Barack Obama showing solidarity, in the face of a national crisis, is for me like a breath of fresh air.

And yet so typical of the American response to adversity.

It was gratifying, to see — as soon as the impact of Super-Storm Sandy began to unfold — President Obama dropping immediately out of ‘campaign mode’ and going to work coordinating his federal government’s planning and responses ‘with state and local governments all across the Northeast.’

Barack Obama sprang into action in a manner that was in glaring ‘contrast to George W Bush’s lackadaisical, desultory, doltish response after Hurricane Katrina.’

And Governor Chris Christie also broke from campaign mode, seamlessly assuming the role of disaster governor, switching in the space of just one week from describing President Obama as “blindly walking around the White House looking for a clue” — to ‘calling his administration’s storm response “wonderful,” “excellent” and “outstanding.”’

And remaining committed to the pressing task at hand, Chrisitie dismissed a question asked him on Fox News about what Mitt Romney might or might not do, saying:

“I have no idea, nor am I the least bit concerned or interested. I have a job to do in New Jersey that is much bigger than presidential politics,” and, “If you think right now I give a damn about presidential politics, then you don’t know me.”

Most probably Christie has put himself at odds with his own party, nonetheless, he will, I’m sure, have earned the respect of his fellow Americans across the country.

As for Barack Obama, Super-Storm Sandy may just have tilted the balance in his favor in the election stakes.

Not to detract for a moment from the enormity of the tragedy; the loss of life; the destruction of property; the toll the storm has taken on the lives of Americans; still, it’s remarkable how providence sometimes plays a hand in determining important outcomes that affect everyone in a country … and in the world.