The Obama White House has never been reticent about inserting itself into state and local issues. President Obama famously criticized the Cambridge, Massachusetts Police Department for the arrest of Henry Louis Gates; the federal government sued the State of Arizona for enforcing federal immigration law; the Obama administration got involved in internal Wisconsin issues during the attempt to recall Governor Scott Walker.
But now, they’ve decided to be hands off in the one area they’re needed most: disaster management. Today, White House press secretary Jay Carney announced that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s decision to allow the New York Marathon to go forward as planned on Sunday was a local one – and that therefore, the White House, for once, would stay uninvolved. “We engage with state and local officials and rely on them to tell us what their needs are,” said Carney. “Decisions at the state and local level are made appropriately by state and local officials.”
This is inane, coming as it does from an administration that wants to claim credit for every success but take no blame for management failures. No doubt if Michael Bloomberg had endorsed Mitt Romney, the Obama administration might have found something to say about the marathon.