“The president has been all over this, he deserves great credit … He gave me his number at the White House, told me to call if I needed anything, and he absolutely means it.”
– Gov. Chris Christie, on “Morning Joe”
“The federal government’s response has been great. I was on the phone at midnight again last night with the president, personally, he has expedited the designation of New Jersey as a major disaster area … The president has been outstanding in this and so have the folks at FEMA.”
– Gov. Chris Christie, on “The Today Show”
“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 main message I wanted to send is the entire country has been watching what’s been happening. Everybody knows how hard Jersey’s been hit.”
– President Obama, speaking of Christie to residents in a shelter near Atlantic City
Is it just me, or is there an odd man out in this mutual admiration society?
In better times, this kind of demonstration of bipartisan cooperation and assistance in a time of crisis would almost go unremarked upon, but these are not those times. In a nation that hungers for such cooperation, even if it does not understand how to produce it, this kind of partnership stands out, to the benefit of the besieged people of New Jersey and, frankly, to the political benefit of the two men involved. As Obama made a point of noting, “the entire country has been watching what’s been happening.”
As an aside, it does make you wonder how this scenario might have played out had Christie been nominated as Mitt Romney’s running mate. You also have to think that there are people in the upper echelons of the Romney campaign cursing not just Christie but the weather gods as well. In a close-fought election, they have handed Obama an opportunity that he seems to have seized with both hands.
– Jay Bookman