Jon Bon Jovi joins Chris Christie to give huge donation to Superstorm Sandy relief fund

Star says: 'My being here is not political'

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The Independent Culture

Jon Bon Jovi returned to his hometown of Sayerville, New Jersey, yesterday to hand $1 million to fund relief after Superstorm Sandy.

The rock star’s large donation joins the $38 million already raised since the disaster killed 97 people and caused $65 billion damage last October. He joins fellow New Jersey music legend, Bruce Springsteen, as one of the fund's trustees.

While Bon Jovi has previously been publicised as a loyal Democrat - he supported Barack Obama in 2008 and played at a 2009 Manhattan fundraiser for Hilary Clinton - he explained his appearance with the Republican Governor Chris Christie.

He said: “My being here is not political.

"It’s emotional because I grew up here. I went to school here. I met my wife here.”

Christie repeated the apolitical sentiment, tweeting:

But much of the Governor’s success these last six months - he currently stands 30 points ahead in polls for his gubernatorial re-election in November - has arisen from such bipartisan positioning.

Even as a key supporter of Mitt Romney, Christie praised Obama for his reaction to the hurricane in the weeks leading up to the 2012 election and toured storm-damaged areas with the president. He has also obtained support from three Democratic New Jersey Mayors.

Such behaviour has become highly valued in the current hostile political environment between Republicans and Democrats, in almost every national issue from gun control to immigration.

Teamed with gastric band surgery in February 2013 and disclosure of said surgery to the New York Post, this shaping of Christie’s image has fuelled speculation that he stands as a viable 2016 presidential candidate, especially as Republican rivals seem to be crumbling.

Hispanic Florida Senator Marco Rubio was trampled in a June Latino Decisions poll, losing to Hilary Clinton 66 to 22 per cent in a hypothesised presidential contest and previous candidate, Texas Governor Rick Perry, recently suffered public defeat on state abortion restrictions thanks to Wendy Davis’ epic filibuster.

Meanwhile Christie’s approval ratings, even outside New Jersey, continue to grow.