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Draw your own conclusions:
- Oh, what a night.
Everybody knows that driving in Manhattan is a form of insanity, but getting behind the wheel Wednesday night was a recipe for disaster -- and massive gridlock.
President Obama came to Midtown about the same time that hundreds of people were gathering at Rockefeller Center for the annual lighting of the 30,000 bulbs on the mammoth Christmas tree -- and as thousands of New Yorkers were trying to get home from work.
If that wasn’t enough, teen heartthrob Justin Bieber and octogenarian-hipster Tony Bennett were among the pre-taped headliners for the tree lighting ceremony. In other words --aaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!
The president went to not one, not two, but three fundraisers in Manhattan, collecting donations in the East Village, on the Upper East Side and in Midtown. The streets along the president's path were lined with uniformed New York Police Department officers and shut down by blue barricades when he was nearby.
Those blue barricades also lined the area near Rockefeller Center to direct the crowds. But the barriers didn't stop tourists who don’t know how to cross a New York street — look both ways and run — from walking in front of some cars and infuriating local drivers.
Mostly drivers just gritted their teeth.
"When Obama is in town, you get ready to get stuck in traffic," Ray Morales, 57, of the Bronx told the New York Daily News. "It's a nightmare."
Even before he came to town, Obama was criticized from the usual quarters for his timing. The conservative New York Post editorialized that “with just a little less arrogance, and a little more consideration, on the part of the president and his political team, the whole mess could have been avoided.” Donald Trump, appearing on Fox Business Network, said it was “very inconsiderate” of the president to come during the Christmas-tree lighting.
Of course, New York is traditionally a Democratic town, and Obama won here by a wide margin. What are New Yorkers going to do -- not vote for him next time around because they arrived home four hours late one night?
Would you like a presidential fund raiser near your home on the day before Christmas?
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