Jacqueline Pattison is giving Mayor Mike Bloomberg one more day. So far, she has been impressed by New York City’s response to Hurricane Sandy. Along with millions of other New Yorkers, she is patiently enduring the lack of electricity, tortuous commute and a deep sense of uncertainty.
But if electricity does not return to her apartment a few blocks north of the World Trade Center soon, she will have lost faith in her government.
“I think by Friday we should have power at the latest,” the 51-year-old co-owner of a small moving business said. “We live on the 28th floor.”
Five days away from a presidential election that centers on the role of government, Hurricane Sandy has handed the United States an extraordinary experiment in how government performs. In an impossible-to-imagine sequence of events, the city with the country’s largest police force, biggest fire department and highest tax revenues is being put to a historic test.
The political stakes are enormous. As the media blankets the rest of the country with saturation coverage of the recovery effort, an effective government response in New York and New Jersey could aid President Barack Obama in a deadlocked election. Looting, lawlessness and anger at government could aid Mitt Romney.