Blackout Politics

It’s not a stretch to suggest that if the blackouts affecting parts of Queens all week had taken place in Manhattan, they would have been treated with considerably more urgency by the administration. (To say nothing of the media.)

It took until yesterday for things to tip about the significance of what was happening, with the mayor finally deciding to make an appearance at the scene of the power outages.

Mike Gianaris, a proud son of Astoria who’s been screaming about the blackouts for several days now, said this morning he was “shocked by how long it took people to get focused on the problem out here,” and said he suspected that the mayor in particular may have been slow because he trusted Con Ed about the limited effects fo whatever went wrong.

(It turns out, as we now know, that the number of affected residents and customers is in the thousands, not the hundreds, and that it could take until the end of the weekend to get power back on for everyone.)

So now that this has finally become a major event, will there be any political consequences for the mayor?

Gianaris says it depends. “How much damage is done to him remains to be seen based on how this concludes.”

— Josh Benson