In the final weeks of the presidential campaign, the President was on the ropes, his poll numbers were falling. Then, Hurricane Sandy hit and his best friend became New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. The Governor showered President Obama with a heaping dose of praise, telling reporters over and over again that “he's done, as far as I'm concerned, a great job for New Jersey."
Christie claimed that the President was attentive to the state’s needs as it recovered from the ravages of a violent hurricane. In reality, Obama made a photo-op visit and went back to the campaign trail. To this day, there are thousands of victims of the hurricane who claim they have been ignored. Even Governor Christie admits that the recovery has been slow in certain devastated areas.
The uneven recovery has led to legitimate questions about the speed and effectiveness of the government’s response to the hurricane. Incredibly, Christie has refused to criticize Obama. Instead, he has lavished unwarranted praise on the absentee President, saying that he has “kept every promise” to the people of New Jersey.
In contrast, Louisiana politicians like U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu were quick to criticize former President George W. Bush in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. While the 2005 storm was much deadlier than Hurricane Sandy and FEMA deserved plenty of criticism for a very slow response, Bush was continually maligned for his response to the storm. In the end, he visited the New Orleans area 13 times after Hurricane Katrina being much more attentive to hurricane victims than President Obama who has been too busy to spend much time in New Jersey in recent months.
While his actions deserve criticism, Obama will receive nothing but accolades from Chris Christie. He will give the President a protective political bear hug once again. In the presidential campaign, Christie was instrumental in helping Obama win election. Today, the President is facing an even more difficult challenge. He is not running for re-election, but he is facing a trio of scandals that have rocked his administration. One administration official said that the New Jersey visit will help Obama “get his groove back.”
Chris Christie is only too willing to play the patsy, the foolish Republican Governor helping Obama restore his shaky political standing. In the short term, it will help Christie win re-election this November as Governor in the blue state of New Jersey. However, in the long term, this continuing embrace of Obama will not be forgotten by GOP primary voters.
The conservatives who decide the nominee of the Republican Party want a nominee who will fight for the party’s values, not one who will capitulate to a politician like Barack Obama.
We have learned a tremendous amount about Chris Christie in recent months. At first, he came across as a plain speaking, honest, combative pragmatist who was an effective Governor. Today, he has been exposed as another self-serving politician, looking to exploit whatever opportunity he can to promote his political career.
Americans have had our fill of political opportunists; it is time for a statesman in the White House, a place where Chris Christie does not belong.