photo by Whitney Dafoe
After the big speech hordes, and we mean hordes, of people shuffled toward and into the Metro station nearest the National Mall. We heard one woman declare, exasperated to non-partisanship, “I don’t care who is president!” Another woman said she’d been stuck in the crowd for almost two hours. She said the experience had “inspired” her to write a thriller about her “escape.” She and her family brainstormed possible titles as the crowd edged another couple of feet forward.
I made my own escape and stopped by Jerrold Nadler’s office, where the Manhattan Congressman was throwing a wine and cheese celebration with many other House members in attendance. I asked him how he planned to lobby Obama on behalf of New Yorkers and our growing economic problems.
Well, Nadler began, the economic crisis is two-fold: a crisis in lending, and a crisis in spending. On the spending issue, he said, “We need to get the money in people’s hands, and get it moving as fast as possible.” Nadler favors Obama’s plan to stimulate the economy through infrastructure spending — he’s been pushing to fix up New York’s aging ports for a while now.
Speaking of ports, Nadler slipped me a scary factoid: Ninety percent of all food supplies that reach New York, he quietly told me, come via the George Washington Bridge. And — pause for effect — US Airways Flight 1459 came very close to striking the Bridge last week.
Then Nadler had to run out before we could get to the credit side of the question. (He did vote for the bank bailout, though.)