I’ll admit that I was a little taken aback by the Republican backlash against Chris Christie for working and praising President Obama’s response to Hurricane Sandy. It was weird that they felt betrayed by Governor Christie; it was akin to a groom being left behind at the altar.
Is this not part of his job? Is he not supposed to work with the President and the federal government out of the interests of the people that he governs?
What was the big deal?
For one, Governor Christie lavished President Obama with praise about his leadership, directly contradicting what he has been saying about the President throughout this campaign.
At one event, he claimed that the President was like a man "in a dark room looking for the light switch of leadership." Now that’s pretty harsh. But it looks like President Obama finally found that light switch.
I understand why the keynote speaker at the Republican National Convention--as well as Mitt Romney’s best and most effective surrogate--praising President Obama would anger the base and seem like a betrayal. Perhaps they would be happier to see Governor Christie turn away from President Obama’s FEMA money and reject his request to tour the damage.
Governor Christie and President Obama were acting in the best interests of the people. Hurricane Sandy was a natural disaster and people truly need our government to help them pick their lives back up again.
Watching these two working together should be a refreshing image and should serve as a reminder of the role of government. Governor Christie is the head playground bully of the Republican Party and President Obama is the nerdy kid that frequently gets pushed around by Christie and his gang of playground bullies.
Now, I am not saying that every instance of bipartisanship is good or should be admired, nor am I saying that Governor Christie and President Obama did not have self-serving interests by joining together. In my opinion, Governor Christie dislikes Mitt Romney and his style of campaigning. Secretly, he realizes that Romney’s chances of being elected are slim so he is positioning himself for a run in 2016.
It has also been widely reported that Governor Christie was going to be the vice-presidential pick but was dropped last minute for Paul Ryan, so Christie could have been doing this out of spite. President Obama had the spotlight and had his last chance to look presidential and in command. Hurricane Sandy also made the case for his theory of government. It did not hurt that Mitt Romney was kept out of the news cycle that week.
Self-serving motives aside, President Obama did what is expected of him as president, and Governor Christie did what he was supposed to do as governor of a Hurricane-ravaged state. Why would you be mad at the government for performing its function?