posted on January 31, 2014 16:17
Nobody ever runs for office on snow removal, but it’s a sure way to get run out of office.
This week the mayor of Atlanta and governor of Georgia are skating on thin ice after a winter storm left thousands of people stranded on the roads. Earlier this month, New York’s new mayor caught flak when some people thought the city’s rich neighborhoods were being cleared faster than other boroughs. Everybody remembers that a big snowstorm ended John Lindsay’s tenure as mayor.
Raleigh went through a nightmare a bit like Atlanta’s a few years back. For weeks afterward, city and school officials were slipping and sliding with excuses, explanations and promises to do better next time.
And they did. Now, the hint of a snowflake in the forecast and – bam! – schools are cancelled. But at least we’re not stuck on the road for nine hours or at school overnight.
Storms bring out the worst in people. They get mad if things shut down and mad if they don’t. And nobody is ever satisfied with how fast the roads get clear.
As the AP’s Michael Biesecker noted: “Ah, Facebook. Where anti-tax, anti-annexation, small-government Southerners go to vent when no one plows and salts their roads.”
Bad winter weather often catches politicians by surprise, especially if they just took office. They’re not ready. Apparently, they don’t get briefed on that at New Governors’ School. They often stumble by making too-grand promises before it snows.
By their second or third winter, they figure out the drill: Put on khakis and a cool-looking jacket. Look like you’re concerned and in command. Get on TV with the guys and gals in uniforms behind you.
And hope like hell that it melts fast.