Isn’t Mitt Romney running as an R from Massachusetts? His campaign office is in Boston, Massachusetts. Romney built Bain and his life out of Massachusetts. And it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as New Jersey and New York (or even Pennsylvania), but it is the state he’s coming from.
Sandy hit Massachusetts too. He, Scott Brown and any other Republican up for election in that state could have toured the damage to the Bay State and he could even have pitched in with his telegenic family. Romney, Brown, the Romney boys in their home state their wives and families touring some damage in Massachusetts would be seen in Ohio, Virginia and even FEMA friendly Florida and North Carolina by voters who respond to presidential candidates that seem that they believe in competent disaster recovery (even if he really doesn’t). Instead, Romney and his campaign executed a political move more befitting a fraternity social chair’s purview: “bring a canned good to the party. get a discount on the cover. this goes to the uh, food bank in New Jersey or Virginia or somwhere”. Then he told that awful story about cleaning up a high school football field after a rally. Srsly. Watch this awful b.s.
I remember once we had a football field at my high school. The field was covered with rubbish and paper goods from people who’d had a big celebration there at the game. And there was a group of us there assigned to clean it up. And I thought, ‘how are we going to clean up all the mess on this football field?’ There were just a few of us. And the person responsible for organizing the effort said, ‘Just line up along the yard lines. You go between the goal line and the 10-yard line, and the next person between the 10 and 20, and just walk down and do your lane. And if everybody cleans their lanes, we’ll get it done.’ And so today, we’re cleaning one lane if you will.
The Church of Latter Day Saints (aka Mormons) has this massive operation called LDS humanitarian services: basically, if an LDS church member needs help (food stuffs, cpr training, refugee acclimation, clothes, wheelchairs) they go talk to their a Bishop designated to hear their requests (and Mitt Romney was an LDS Bishop for 14 years and was the top clergyman in Boston) and they are sent a bunch of supplies or given cash from the Wal-Mart sized distribution warehouses. They also have “helping hands” where LDS members descend upon disasters and dig in. For all my problems with the LDS’s practices, these charities are impressive and he should have told a story about one of these experiences.
Instead he told this bullshit story about cleaning up streamers to people in Ohio (who know it’s easy to clean up a damned football field) and collected canned goods no one wants. Senator Obama, in June 2008 went to Quincy Illinois to help his constituents bag sand in preparation for the floods that summer. Candidate Obama then entreated people to come down to Quincy or a few other river towns and help bag sand themselves (by e-mail to his supporter list serve and through news outlets):
See, how hard was that?
Chris Christie is a governor. He’s a Republican state official in a Democratic state. He’s a skilled politician. He knows Mitt Romney was a governor of the Bay State. Massachusetts. I would bet Chris Christie loves New Jersey and wonders how a former governor couldn’t get his ass to Massachusetts to actually tour or help with actual storm relief. Just being a good person, a shrewd cynical political move, both or neither, it should be simple moral and/or political calculation for a guy who is or was a governor and is running for President. So maybe Chris Christie’s effusive praise of Barack Obama and dismissal of a Romney walk about is because Chris Christie saw the real Mitt Romney contrasted with a real natural disaster and decided that propping up Romney with a time consuming photo-op was way less important than helping his constituents repair their communities.
Note: I hate the faux concept of “being presidential”.