Snow storms aren’t partisan, and Gov. Christie is ducking the issue by attempting to blame Democrats for complaints about ineffective holiday snow plowing.
The state did a poor job clearing snow on major roads in several counties, such as Ocean and Monmouth, after a storm that dumped 30 inches in some places. That’s the issue.
Clogged roads led to snarled traffic for several days in the week between Christmas and New Year’s. It resulted in some people being unable to leave their homes for days.
Where was Christie while New Jerseyans were shoveling out slowly? He was vacationing with his family at Disney World in Florida. Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno also was out of the state, on a family cruise with her ailing father. Senate President Steve Sweeney (D., Gloucester) served as acting governor during part of the episode.
And now that the snow has mostly melted, Christie is back in charge, requesting the federal government bail out the state for the costs of snow removal. The effort looks a little late.
The problem that lingers is mainly one of perception. Being on the ground and in charge during a snowstorm is no guarantee that streets will be plowed, as New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg can attest.
But residents rightly expect the top official to be in the thick of the crisis like everyone else. Instead, Christie was on the phone from the land of palm trees.
Residents and political foes shouldn’t begrudge the governor a vacation. But for Christie to blame the storm’s aftermath on partisanship blurs the issue like so many wind-whipped snowflakes.
The problem was the roads didn’t get plowed. Such a basic task must be handled better no matter which party is in charge.