Look, everyone knows what O’Malley is up to when he acts all tough and no-nonsense as disaster approaches. You can almost see him thinking it: Wouldn’t I be great at giving a national address right now? If you squint a little bit, do I look presidential?
This time around, O’Malley used the havoc wreaked by Hurricane Sandy to say some tough-guy things about local power companies: “We’ve had our boot up the backside of Pepco to bring in mutual aid help from other states,” O’Malley told the Daily Beast yesterday. “When we started tracking this storm, the first calls I made were to Pepco [and BGE]. I said, ‘Get the assets in here from every place you can.’”
That kind of tough talk inspired Pepco to import more than 3,000 emergency personnel from other states. And judging from reports around town, fewer people lost power in Baltimore than expected. Now, that probably had more to do with the storm’s unpredictable path than any grandstanding by our governor. But, as the Daily Beast points out, a natural disaster can either make or break the careers of local politicians (think Ray Nagin after Hurricane Katrina). And, as the Beast’s Howard Kurtz points out, “For O’Malley, who is chairman of the Democratic Governors Association and a likely presidential candidate in 2016, local politics is also national politics.” Think he’ll take credit for keeping your power on?
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