Friday, January 31, 2014

Mayor Kasim Reed Rejects Criticism of Atlanta Snow Response

Kasim Reed. What a f-king clown.

At NYT, "Mayor Unapologetic as Questions Fly About Storm":

ATLANTA — Anyone who has listened to Kasim Reed, the former entertainment lawyer who became Atlanta’s mayor in 2010, knows the man who calls himself a street fighter likes to be forceful when he makes a point.

But for the past two days, as the national face of a city that was virtually incapacitated by two inches of snow and ice, Mr. Reed has come across more as peevish than powerful as he has done interview after interview, mostly rejecting criticism of the government’s role in Atlanta’s vast ice storm gridlock.

“I don’t want to get into the blame game,” he snapped at local reporters Wednesday as children were still stranded in schools and images of thousands stranded on frozen interstates rolled in a seemingly endless media loop.

Atlanta Officials Gamble on Storm and Lose, and Others Pay the PriceJAN. 29, 2014
The next day, he fired back at national journalists, suggesting that Matt Lauer of NBC’s “Today” be more accurate in the images of a crippled region he was presenting to viewers and sniping with Mika Brzezinski on “Morning Joe” on MSNBC.

How the capital of the Deep South fell victim to more than 24 hours of icy paralysis despite early predictions that a rare winter storm was about to fall is still being analyzed.

Gov. Nathan Deal, in an apologetic briefing for reporters on Thursday and in his own series of national interviews, was as soft and contrite as Mr. Reed was unyielding and combative. The governor said he did not learn the storm had been upgraded until about 9 a.m. Tuesday, six hours after the fact. He was beginning an internal investigation into why early warnings were not heeded sooner, he said.

But larger questions loom for Mr. Reed, an ambitious 44-year-old politician, and Mr. Deal, who is running for re-election in November. How much will a losing gamble on how to handle a paralyzing storm hurt? And what’s the best way to cope with the kind of disastrous storm response that has dramatically wounded the careers of numerous politicians over the years?

Left up to some voters, the gamble could hurt a lot. Drew Hansen, a University of Georgia criminal justice student who spent Tuesday night in a pharmacy after driving for more than seven hours, faulted both Mr. Deal and Mr. Reed.

“To be honest with you, I don’t think they cared,” Mr. Hansen, 21, said. “Deal was warm. Reed was warm. They didn’t care. For them it was like, ‘Whatever, yeah, there’s people out there. We’re already in office. We don’t care.’ ”
More at the top link.