Pataki, Not Bloomberg

Talk about kicking a man when he’s down.

John Koblin just called from Ditmars Boulevard to report that on her visit to some businesses in the affected area, Hillary Clinton said it was “a real mistake” by the governor not to ask for northwestern Queens to be declared a federal disaster area, which she and Chuck Schumer have both advocated.

“Unfortunately the governor doesn’t agree,” she said.

Accompanied by Carolyn Maloney, Mike Gianaris, Eric Gioia, Peter Vallone Jr., John Sabini and a mob of sweaty television and print reporters, she also called for an independent board to oversee the utility and a federal investigation into what went wrong.

It’s worth noting that, like a number of the Democratic officials who have been most outspoken about the blackout, she didn’t seem as inclined to criticize Mike Bloomberg.

When someone asked her about the mayor’s kind words for Con Ed’s leadership, she limited herself to the following statement: “I’m thinking for myself, and I’m very disappointed about how this whole matter was handled.”

— Josh Benson

UPDATE: Pataki spokesperson Joanna Rose called to declare, not for the first time, that the governor can’t make such a request without the mayor first doing so. Referring to Hillary Clinton’s comments, Rose said, “She’s obviously ignorant of the process. The local municipality would have to request such a designation to be made. The governor cannot unilaterally make that declaration.”

Pataki, Not Bloomberg