At Mayor Bloomberg’s Bronx news conference today, The Politicker asked Hizzoner if he had been peering over the river to check out his friend Cory Booker’s efforts to deal with the snow clean-up. Bloomberg after all has been swamped by criticism for suggesting that New Yorkers take advantage of being unable to get out of their homes the Snow Day by checking out Broadway shows.
Booker, on the other hand, earned the nickname “Mayor Plow” for delivering diapers to a housebound mother, digging out snowbound seniors, and for responding to residents’ pleas for snowplows personally via Twitter.
In response to our question, the mayor replied, “I think Cory Booker is a great mayor. And what’s appropriate for Newark and for his people, I am certainly going to take a look and see what he is doing. I am going to call him this afternoon and say, ‘Hey, you know, what are you doing?’”
When pressed by another reporter if Booker was being lauded for presenting an image of working hard to help his constituents deal with the blizzard, Bloomberg said, ”I’d like to think that we have that image as well. I can’t work much harder.”
Now Booker has weighed in (via Twitter, of course) writing, “People far 2 rough on @mikebloomberg – still fighting 2 clear snow in NWK & we are 1/29th size of NYC.”
The Politicker has talked to several political professionals over the last several days, and they have marveled at how Booker has seemingly gotten out in front of the blizzard. The truth of the matter is that Newark is in just as bad shape as New York City, and Booker had to lay off city workers as well. However, his energetic–if unorthodox–response has turned him into something of a local political folk hero. Snow storms and other natural disasters have spelled the end of many politicians’ careers (just ask John Lindsay). Booker though seems to be the first politician in a while to turn the weather to his advantage.