Mayor Michael Bloomberg is facing a strange bit of criticism while on the slow path to recovery since Hurricane Sandy: he isn't really a hugger. We've decided to give him some help.
Anyone familiar with Bloomberg probably wouldn't say he's a very warm person. He's got a very dry sense of humor. Some might even call him gruff. (Fred Armisen plays him on Saturday Night Live for a reason.) When you've been the mayor of New York City for over a decade, and you've made a fortune in the business world, warmth is not your strong point.
But people need to be hugged in a time of crisis. A hug provides a sense of security. So, the New York Times is taking Bloomberg to task for not being a very good at it:
If the early days of Hurricane Sandy played to Mr. Bloomberg’s strengths — infrastructure expertise, no-nonsense crisis management — the extended and halting recovery has laid bare his limitations. After nearly 12 years of overseeing the nation’s largest municipality, he remains deeply uncomfortable with the role of consoling and soothing his city. He is rarely seen at public meeting with storm victims, and when he does interact with them, there are no tears or hugs.
Bloomberg is too focused on getting things done, they argue. He won't even talk about his feelings during press conferences. He needs to take a minute and just hold someone. He needs to grab someone and show them he can feel, darn it. He can't be a businessman all the time.
There is one guy who is good at the whole hugging thing: Barack Obama. Bloomberg could learn a thing or two from the President. The divide between their hug game was apparent on Thursday when they were touring the damage in Staten Island together.
Here, Bloomberg stands back with a stern look on his face while the President consoles someone.
Mr. Bloomberg, are you listening? This is really simple. We know you can do this. Notice how Obama's arms wrap around the lady's shoulders. They don't come over the top of her shoulders, or go under her arms either. He's leaned in a little too, just for good measure. He is embracing her. If you can master this hug, Bloomberg, you will be empathetic like the President. (via AP)
Here, Bloomberg looks on while Obama bro hugs Gov. Andrew Cuomo. At least Bloomberg has a smile on his face this time.
Okay, the bro hug is the easiest hug. When a friend approaches you, one you might label a bro, shake your bro's hand much the same way you normally would. But once your hands lock, pull your bro close to you. Like, so close your chests make a sandwich and the handshake is your peanut butter. Bring your other hand around your bro's back and give him a nice pat between the should blades. If you can master this one, you can be bros with the President and Cuomo. There's probably a golf game you aren't invited to or something. (via AP)
That is how you hug, Mr. Bloomberg. We know you can do it.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.