It’s common knowledge in Washington, D.C., that the mere presence of a snowflake is sufficient for schools to cancel classes and for the entire region to go into a panic. Check that. Even a weather forecast mentioning the possibility of snow causes a conniption in the capital.
Tuesday brought Washington its first snowfall this winter, two to four inches in some places, which was followed by some sleet overnight. The list of cancellations would make you think the Capitol dome was buried under a drift. The hysteria caught the attention Wednesday of President Barack Obama, who said Washington could use some of Chicago’s flinty resolve when it comes to weathering the winter elements.
Obama’s daughters stayed home from school, “Because of what?” the president asked, “some ice?” Schools in Chicago not only have classes in bad weather, he said, they have recess outdoors. The Washington Post did some checking, and the last time Chicago’s public schools were closed because of the weather was 1999. Alas, the Obamas and other newcomers to Washington soon will learn something else about their new city: It’s mostly impervious to shame.