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Chris Christie's "Obama Problem"

I meant to post about this last week -- but never got to it.

GOP12's Christian Heinze takes a look at Chris Christie's (dwindling?) 2016 prospects as a result of his Presidential Hug late in the 2012 campaign.
One of the most iconic images of the presidential campaign was that of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and President Obama, arms briefly locked, touring the damage from Hurricane Sandy.

Soon thereafter, Christie (R) praised the president effusively in a press conference, saying, “I cannot thank the president enough for his personal concern and compassion” and noting, “it’s been very good working with the president and his administration. It’s been wonderful.”

While Christie vociferously denied any political import to what he was saying, critics on both sides, as well as much of the American electorate, seemed to disagree.

On Fox News, conservative critic Charles Krauthammer explained why the Obama-Christie moment was so effective: “That’s the kind of advertising that Obama couldn’t have purchased with $10 million, where he gets the picture of the most partisan opponent hugging him and praising him.”
...and then came the reaction:
Disgruntled Romney aides anonymously complained to various news organizations that the Christie hug had been a serious setback; conservative talk radio host Glenn Beck said on his program that Christie was “dead to me”; conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham openly mused about whether Christie might become a Democrat; and the Washington Times editorial page editor called on the GOP to excommunicate Christie for both his political record and “gratuitously complimentary statements” about Obama.

To make matters worse for Christie, he had to beat back allegations that he turned down a rally with Romney on the campaign’s final weekend and that he was bitter about a vice presidential selection process that ended up with Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) in the No. 2 spot.

Yet to understand the past month’s impact on Christie, it’s imperative to distinguish between his local and national ambitions.

Christie is up for reelection next year in New Jersey — a deeply Democratic state that last voted for a Republican president over two decades ago. It’s not clear if Christie will run again, but to win, he’ll once again need sizable support from both independents and Democrats, and his praise of Obama is likely to help.

But Christie also has national ambitions and, like it or not, the 2016 presidential primary has already begun — and it’s a very different, much more conservative set of judges watching the governor nationally, as opposed to locally.
My emphasis. Ugh.

What is this, middle school politics?

Let's look at what Mr. Liberal Sissy-Pants Obama Lover did: he put aside partisan campaign politics to get sh*t done in New Jersey. He worked with governmental agencies such as FEMA, and -- *GASP* -- he worked with President Obama too. This is what a true leader does; works with people of differing points-of-view to solve problems. As it happens, Christie had a positive experience with the President in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy's devastation in New Jersey, so he was unabashedly complimentary of the President.

Look, local or national politics, it really doesn't matter. Do you know what most voters like? Seeing people work together to take care of business.

Christie, and the rest of the panel on Morning Joe make this point quite well.



...and kudos to Christie for being able to compliment the President -- but also talk about how he voted for Mitt Romney.

This is not a "liberal-versus-conservative" thing. It's not like Chris Christie signed a document in support of the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. "Obamacare") or suddenly has become a staunch advocate for unions. Christie is still a Republican and I'm sure will voice his disagreement with President Obama on a great many things in the future.

But, in the lead-up to, and immediately following Hurricane Sandy making landfall, Christie did the right thing and put politics aside. And was not ashamed to say so.