Chicago vs. DC: Has the President Gained Any Respect for DC After Record Snowfall?

Cities like Chicago surely scoff at Washington, DC's frantic response to any whiff of snow coming its way. And in 2009, so did President Obama; telling reporters of his daughters' snow day, "As my children pointed out, in Chicago, school is never canceled."

The President suggested Washington could use "some flinty Chicago toughness" back then.

But now that the snow has reached monumental and record-breaking proportions, does the Commander-in-Chief feel any differently? Not necessarily, depending on how you read what Bloomberg BusinessWeek reported in its latest edition: "I can't believe I have to shut down the federal government for a week for this," said the President, gazing outside in mock condescension before reminiscing about his years in Chicago, a city that takes heavy weather in stride, Bloomberg reported.

Granted, that interview took place on Tuesday, when the second wave of snow was just beginning to fall and its ultimate totals were not yet known. Still, more than 30 inches had already struck the week before in the District and surrounding areas.

Was the President still not convinced the nation's Capitol could hold its own?

Consider the facts:

President Obama did use the perhaps now-tired phrase, "snowmageddon" last week to refer to the two and a half feet of snow which had staked its claim in DC. Maybe a little respect there?

Then there was the Tueday light-hearted press conference opener, "I understand that [Senators] McConnell and Reid are out doing snow angels on the South Lawn together," Mr. Obama joked after a bipartisan meeting at the White House.

So what does his Press Secretary think?

Robert Gibbs recently told the Associated Press, "I think even a transplanted Hawaiian-to-Chicago has sufficient respect for a forecast of nearly two feet of snow."

Asked for any updates on the President's views on this hot topic, a White House official politely declined to comment.

But Gibbs professed his own respect for the severity of the storms at today's briefing, "I think everybody understands that what we have seen here is extraordinary. Obviously, it has been an overwhelming weather event."

The Federal government remains closed for the fourth straight day. Gibbs told reporters, "I know that OPM [Office of Personnel Management] and others are working to try to get as much cleared [as possible], so that the federal government can open again".

Chicago's harsh winters must have gotten into Mr. Obama's blood, so, reporters asked why wasn't the President out there shoveling his front walk?

"Because he's the luckiest man on the planet," Gibbs joked.

"I told him that this weekend, that -- you should never leave. It's a great deal. You've got a huge driveway and it's -- my back is killing me."