Why Republican governor of New Jersey Chris Christie is President Obama's new best friend

 

Share
Related Topics

President Obama was out on the campaign trail yesterday with his
new friend, Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey. Sorry, scratch
that, Obama announced he was suspending the campaign and his
spokesman Jay Carney told reporters that "this is not a time for
politics." So what we saw yesterday was a Democratic and a
Republican politician putting America before politics as they
discussed putting New Jersey back on its feet after Hurricane
Sandy. Now that's a rarity in this polarised country.

 

Six days before America votes in a presidential election, Obama will take all the help he can get, including from his Republican adversary, Christie, who only a few days ago was decrying the president as "a man wandering around a dark room, hands up against the wall, clutching for the light switch of leadership, and he just can't find it".

Americans don't like gridlock. In every opinion poll they give Congress a big thumbs down for failing to reach across the aisle in the interests of the country. Eight out of 10 likely voters have told a Washington Post/ABC News tracking poll that the president has done an "excellent" job of handling the aftermath of Sandy. Christie has echoed that view since Monday in every single TV appearance he has made.

Even yesterday, after viewing the hurricane damage from a helicopter and meeting some of the victims, Obama and Christie were heaping praise on each other.

You can be sure that the Romney campaign won't be pleased about that. Until now, Christie has been one of the former Massachusetts governor's most active spokesmen. Now he is seen as putting the future of his state above politics - as he told Fox News on Tuesday "I don't give a damn about election day" - but could also be putting down a marker.

Christie not only has a reelection campaign next year as New Jersey governor, but he has been touted as a possible Republican contender for the presidency. Although he spoke at the Republican convention in support of Romney, he hardly mentioned the name of the former governor of Massachusetts and his references to the need for leadership seemed to apply to himself.

So what happened this week in New Jersey wasn't just about the disaster. It spoke eloquently about politics. It was good for Obama (and therefore bad for Romney, confined to the sidelines), good for Christie and good for the country as a demonstration that bipartisanship has not completely vanished from the scene.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Operations & Logistics Manager

£38000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's best performing...

Recruitment Genius: GeoDatabase Specialist - Hazard Modelling

£35000 - £43000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our award-winning client is one...

Recruitment Genius: Compressed Air Pipework Installation Engineer

£15000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of Atlas ...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Coordinator - Pallet Network

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Opportunity to join established...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Letter from the Political Editor: With 100 days still to go how will Cameron, Miliband and Co. keep us all engaged?

Andrew Grice
A solar energy farm in France  

Nature Studies: For all the attractions of solar power, it shouldn’t blight the countryside

Michael McCarthy
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project