On Wednesday Obama flew over a devastated New Jersey coastline with Christie the state’s Republican governor, creating a rare, bipartisan moment in what had been some of the most partisan months imaginable. Some were pleasantly surprised, others suspicious and others outraged as the final days before Tuesday’s election drew near.
The pugnacious Mr. Christie has been a staunch a supporter of Republican candidate Mitt Romney and a rather vociferous critic of the president. Yet after the worst storm New Jersey has experienced in a generation, Christie joined Mr. Obama on the presidential helicopter to survey the battered homes and flooded streets. The two men praised each other for their response to the storm. Whereas most see this as an example of how strange bedfellows can join forces in the wake of tragedy, others see it as as a PR motivated move by both men. Following this rather cynical logic, Obama is using the storm and its aftermath to land millions of dollars of free media coverage, and Chris Christie is positioning himself for is 2016 Presidential run.
“I want to thank the president for coming here today,” Christie said. “It’s really important to have the president of the United States acknowledge all the suffering that’s going on here in New Jersey and I appreciate it very much.” Obama also had words of praise for Christie. “I want to just let you know that your governor is working overtime to make sure that as soon as possible everybody can get back to normal,”
The fact that Obama and Christie are working together for the good of the state and the nation has many hyperventilating and conspiracy theorizing. Whereas some conservatives would cringe at the mere thought of being attached by Limbaugh and others in the media, that has never been Christie’s style. When Christie was asked by “Fox and Friends” co-host Steve Doocy whether he would invite Gov. Mitt Romney to tour the wreckage, he responded: “I have no idea, nor am I the least bit concerned or interested. I’ve got a job to do here in New Jersey that’s much bigger than presidential politics and I could care less about any of that stuff. I have a job to do. I’ve got 2.4 million people out of power. I’ve got devastation on the shore. I’ve got floods in the northern part of my state. If you think right now I give a damn about presidential politics then you don’t know me.”
Having worked as a freelance writer, editor and PR consultant, I have to admit to at times feeling more than a bit jaded about the political process, but, in this case, I commend the Governor of New Jersey and the President of the United States for working together to help the citizens of New Jersey in a true time of need.
Copyright © Anthony Mora 2012
Samad, Jewel. “N.J. Gov. Chris Christie (R) and President Obama during the president’s visit to the Garden State to tour storm damage”. Photo. The Washington Post. 31 Oct 2012. 3 Nov 2012. <http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2012/10/31/president-obama-gov-christie-to-tour-storm-damage-together-in-new-jersey/>
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