Why Has Christie Embraced Obama?

Oct 31 2012 @ 12:40pm

The president is touring New Jersey's wreckage with the governor today. John Cassidy wonders if Christie's praise for Obama – and his blowing-off of Romney – has become a bit excessive:

Right about now, Romney must be feeling like calling him up and giving him the same advice that Clement Attlee, the postwar Labour Prime Minister of Great Britain gave to Harold Laski, the left-wing London School of Economics professor: "A period of silence from you would be welcome."

Michael Shear notes the dramatic change of tune for Christie; the governor before the hurricane had been slamming Obama on the campaign trail "in a way that few of Mr. Romney's surrogates can." Dan Amira speculates:

Some might conclude that Christie is looking out for his own political future (again?), either as a Republican governor running for reelection in a blue state or as a straight-talking Republican presidential candidate hoping to win the support of independents. Or it may be that Christie, as he told Fox & Friends this morning, just doesn't "give a damn about presidential politics" right now. But Romney surely still does, and he probably wouldn't mind if Christie toned it down a bit. 

Among Goldblog's theories:

The first, most benign theory: Christie, in my experience, is a deeply emotional and highly sentimental man, and he is torn-up about the devastation along the Jersey Shore. The support he's received from President Obama — the support he receives from anyone — at such a wrenching moment, makes him inordinately grateful. And President Obama has been extremely attentive.

 Tomasky speculates about Republican criticism of Christie:

Will Limbaugh et al. howl about Judas Christie today? Will they try to downplay it? My guess is the latter. Like it's no big deal. The more typical right-wing response to unpleasant developments is to ignore them and try to shrug them off. So I'd guess that their outrage today will be private.

But here's what will be public. Images of the Republican convention keynote speaker, a man known to be adored by conservatives, standing with the hated Kenyan, probably agreeing with him and maybe even taking the lead as they urge Congress to pass emergency supplemental relief funds. That will air on cable and the nightly news all over the country, and the mere picture will say to people, "Romney doesn't really matter here."