Any time any government weathers anything in what it deems a semi-successful manner, its officials -- elected and appointed -- seem to call or find themselves called to news conferences where they then proceed to publicly thank one another.
"I'd like to thank the Port Authority staff," Port Authority Executive Director Patrick Foye said at a press conference following Winter Storm Jonas.
"The crews really did do their job," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a press conference following Winter Storm Jonas.
"Thank you, governor," New York State Dept. of Transportation Commissioner Matthew Driscoll said at a press conference following Winter Storm Jonas.
"I'm going to be talking about all the folks who deserve our praise," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a press conference following Winter Storm Jonas.
With no Oscars wrap-up music or time constraints, politicians can publicly thank as many people as they like for as long as they want. After opening a news conference Monday with five straight minutes of Jonas-related praise for city employees, de Blasio finally paused to address the seemingly lackluster removal of snow in Queens: "Some areas of Queens [are] strong," he said. "Other areas less so." The mayor then resumed thanking the same people he thanked before. "Again," he said, "thank you to them. Thank you to the NYPD for great work."
"It makes a lot of sense for political people to try to share the credit," Executive Dean of Hofstra University's Center for Suburban Studies Larry Levy said.
Levy, a former Newsday political columnist, sees the post-storm thank-you-fest as an opportunity for politicians to both show some humility to their constituents and to win the allegiances of those who ensure their town, city, state or country continues to function.
"The line workers probably are putting more time at this in more dangerous circumstances than [the politicians] ever do," Levy said, "and [the line workers] like to see a little appreciation [before the politicians] really need them another time."
"A lot of dedicated people we're indebted to," Metro North President Joseph Giuletti said at a press conference following Winter Storm Jonas.
"It's also true about our public servants, who have done amazing work all across the board," Cuomo said at a press conference following Winter Storm Jonas.
According to Levy, voters see a snowstorm as a test of skill and leadership.
"[Snowstorms] have broken careers and they have made careers," Levy said.
So, smart politicians use the day following a big storm to acknowledge everyone with the ability to influence the success of the government's response to a future storm, showering those individuals and agencies with thanks.
"I first want to thank the people of the state," New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said.
"Obviously," Nassau County Commissioner Ed Mangano said, "we want to thank the governor and the state for their cooperation."
"DEP helps out," de Blasio said. "They did a great job."
"And frankly," Levy said, "if things don't go well out there, it reminds the voters that: Hey, he wasn't the only person responsible for things not going right."
"So," de Blasio said at a press conference following Winter Storm Jonas, "we thank them all."