It took me awhile to figure out how Dannel P. Malloy won re-election as governor. How could someone, who placed a huge tax hike on the citizens of Connecticut and whose know-it-all attitude served as a turn-off to many, win a second term? But watching him from the State Armory on Monday, talking about the Blizzard of the Century, it hit me. When it comes to a snowstorm, nobody does it better than Dannel.
There he was on statewide television and radio, in front of a snow-starved-storm media, the always-present “best Lt. Governor in the United States,” Nancy Wyman by his side, directing the state’s emergency operations.
Malloy was in his element. From talking about prior snowstorms, “We’ve been through five of them now,” to CL&P and UI, the governor, always confident, seemed to be almost regal in his handling of the situation.
Put another way, the governor looked like a leader, blurting out announcements and reciting facts, right down to advising municipalities to keep their own emergency workers on location. He was Toscanni at the Met, Scully behind the mike, Ike on the beaches of Normandy, orchestrating the entire performance.
In Connecticut, snowstorms have become a big thing. The public gives the supermarkets and gas stations business and the media hypes every snowflake. For years, all that was lacking was a leader at the top. You got the idea Malloy’s predecessor, M. Jodi Rell, would rather be home in Brookfield sitting by a warm fire, anytime there was a snowstorm of consequence. Not Malloy. He basks in the public eye, anyway. Give him a good ol’ fashioned snowstorm, and it’s lights, cameras, action. Connecticut snowstorm enthusiasts have begged for this kind of leadership for years, and now for the last four years plus, their prayers have been answered. No non-essential state employee, parking ban, or DOT truck is going to get by this governor in a snowstorm. He has mastered every detail.
Let’s face it, a snowstorm for a governor is the equivalent of an international crisis – especially in Connecticut – for a president. How the president handles such a crisis can make-or-break his presidency. It’s the chance to shine in front of a captive audience without dealing with that stupid old legislative body. Shine and you’re golden. Blow it and you’re toast. Same goes for a governor and snowstorms. Just ask one-term governor Tom Meskill.
So adept is Malloy at this kind of leadership, I was secretly hoping had Tom Foley won the last election, he would have kept him on as the new Commissioner of Snowstorms. You know I am not a fan of government expansion, but this position would have been worth the taxpayers’ dough. Imagine Foley in front of this hoard, talking about CT Transit’s schedule or MetroNorth delays? That’s if he knew the difference between CT Transit and MetroNorth. It would have been a train wreck. But not with Malloy as the engineer.
As the winter continues, with more snowstorms still to come, we have a governor in command, at ease and directing the entire show. A state is glued to his every episode. It’s better than “Ray Donovan.” Forget budget deficits, tolls and tax hikes. When it comes to this governor, all it takes is a snowstorm to show who’s in charge.