Friday, November 2, 2012

Despite Expected Kudos, Bloomberg Tires of Hurricane Relief Administration Role: That, Or He Tremendously Disrespects Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano

Nice day for helicopters?
Despite receiving the predictable kudos for his high-profile mayoral role in the storm relief administration efforts following Hurricane Sandy, Michael Bloomberg seems to be getting rather bored with it all . . . Either that, or he has a terrific disrespect for Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano, who was here in New York on behalf of the federal government to assist with the delivery of FEMA aide.

Yesterday Bloomberg and other local New York politicians, Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York Assembly Leader Shelly Silver included, stood with Janet Napolitano as she described the measures being taken the by federal government to aid New York City and the rest of the afflicted region.  The other elected officials were stoicly attentive to her words in the typical fashion to which we have all become inured.  Bloomberg, standing only two feet behind Secretary Janet Napolitano, could not have been more conspicuously disengaged.

This is my best profile, Mr. DeMille
Bloomberg bounced up and down on his feet.  He looked at the sky, this way and that.  He looked at his shoes.  He stared off sideways into the far distance, presenting his visage in complete profile.  With a big grin he made conversation with what appeared to be another more junior federal official standing with him behind  Napolitano.  He made strange faces, squinting and rolling up his eyes.
Grin, trading a few jokes
Maybe Bloomberg didn’t think that the federal government’s delivery of FEMA aid to the stricken city and region was a big deal.  Maybe Bloomberg didn’t think that the local NBC station was going to feature coverage of the delivery of that aid, running this video clip during their extended special coverage of recovery related events.

A "did-you-really-say-that?" startle
Maybe Bloomberg was noticing and was judgmental that when Secretary Napolitano delivers information that has been prepared for the public’s consumption she doesn’t race through a reading of her words at a fast rate similar to the mayor’s own that helps communicate the fabled businesslike efficiency he promotes as his m├ętier.  Maybe Bloomberg is just impatient when he has to stand by and listen, surrendering the stage to someone not officially on his payroll.  Certainly it couldn’t have been that Napolitano is a woman: Bloomberg has hired many women and even promotes them to high positions.

Was it that on Saturday, the day before the storm, Bloomberg had told FEMA the city would not need FEMA help?: The mayor grew testy during the question and answer segment of at his afternoon press conference today when asked about that, saying that the city could rely on its own NYPD police and NYFD firemen, notwithstanding that several times during the press conference Bloomberg did refer to FEMA help that had been necessary in a number of other respects.

As Bloomberg repeatedly swiveled his attention heavenward I couldn’t help wonder what he might be looking for or thinking about.  His helicopter?  Was he thinking that this was one exceptional week he wouldn’t be able to scoot out to the airport and fly his private plane for one of his regular extended weekends at his Bermuda home?  But if he went to Bermuda this weekend he’d miss the Nets basketball game opening the "Barclays" Center he promoted at three successive hurricane relief press conferences.  That opening game was postponed until this Saturday night although Bloomberg had originally wanted the opening Knicks vs. Nets game to be held Wednesday night, even without working mass transit, hard on the heals of Monday’s storm.

As can be seen, Bloomberg has been very good at racing through the statistics concerning the services the city officials under his command are admirably providing.  It remains, though, that sometimes Bloomberg is not busy reading from these prepared scripts for which he is getting accolades.  Then his actions disclose that maybe his mind is often somewhere else.  Maybe part of all that racing through things, together with Bloomberg’s infamous impatience, is about something other than just business efficiency. . . his personal concern with wanting to get on with other very different things.
Tilting my head far enough this way who can I see over Janet's shoulder?
I can just picture it. . .

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