By Sunday, New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg felt safe enough to hit the streets. “When are we gonna get some f–ing help?” one woman asked bluntly. And more federal officials were on their way: Department of Homeland Security Chief Janet A. Napolitano strolled the hardest-hit areas, again with egoist Chris Christie.
Nowhere, so far at least, are the obvious questions: Why didn’t FEMA set up gas reserves well in advance? The storm was on the radar screen for more than a week, and a direct hit was never in doubt. How about food, water, even generators? All could have been positioned nearby and moved in quickly after Sandy hit. And a week later, the stranded are still asking: Why is it taking so long?
In the Rockaways, brutalized by the storm, residents are getting desperate. “Politicians are just driving by in their nice cars. Why don’t they come speak to us and tell us what we need to do?” Kathy Gambino said to the New York Post.
Shaun L.S. Donovan, secretary of Housing and Urban Development, did a photo-op in the Rockaways on Sunday morning. Asked about the lack of help, he said: “The Rockaways are absolutely not forgotten. This morning at 8 a.m. I was with the president, the entire Cabinet. We were talking about the Rockaways.”
Talking? Imagine if Bush had ?
• Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.