The storm damage wans't on the scale of a major hurricane, but the blizzard is serving as a kind of Katrina moment for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. One was absent and the other perceived by city residents as ineffectual.
Governor Christie, considered a rising star in the Republican Party, left for a family vacation at Disney World in Florida ahead of the storm. Compounding the problem, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno was on vacation in Mexico at the same time. That left the state's Senate president to declare an emergency and caution residents to stay off the streets if possible.
In New York, where the storm also dumped some of its biggest loads, transportation was hobbled for two days after the storm as crews struggled to clear snow from roads and bridges. Many residents blamed Mayor Bloomberg, a political independent whose name has been bandied around as a possible contender for president, for the problems.