The politicians reunite in order to provide help in the recovery of the Jersey Shore after a massive storm which hit the area in the final days of last year’s presidential election campaign and which, because of Obama’s well-received show of concern, may have helped him win re-election.
The two leaders, Obama tall and lanky and Christie mid-height and round, gave each other a high-five, and then the president referred to Christie’s re-election campaign, Reuters reports.
“That’s because he’s running for office,” President Obama explained to groups of tourists, who recorded it all on their smartphones. He also received the prize for Christie’s performance – a stuffed bear. Then they worked the crowd together.
Christie wouldn’t probably run for his second term as New Jersey governor, but he is predicted to run for presidential election in 2016. His decision to undergo lap-band surgery to lose weight has been seen as a possible clue to his higher aspirations.
The two leaders shared one stage to deliver their speeches a few miles up the coast in Asbury Park. The New Jersey governor indirectly referred to the Republican criticism he encountered late last year for praising Obama’s concern for the state when he said that Shore communities had rallied together in response to the storm.
“Everybody came together, Republicans, Democrats, independents; we all came together because New Jersey is more important and our citizens are more important than any kind of politics at all,” he said.
Though Christie supported the Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, who was eclipsed by the Democratic incumbent in the last year’s elections, his compliments to the president for his speedy response to the consequences of themassive storm were seen as a boost to Obama.
Christie was not invited to an annual gathering of conservatives in Washington as the huge Sandy recovery fund he sought and obtained from the federal government.
Let us remind that the U.S. president who was involved in the eletion race last year had to stop his activities in order to attend the state of New Jersey, hit by the storm.
“Two days after Hurricane Sandy made landfall in southern New Jersey, President Obama was on hand to witness the devastation, comfort residents, and pledge the full support of the federal government in the recovery effort,” The White House said in a statement at the time.
President Obama expressed his sympathies and promised the full weight of his office and the federal government in providing aid. ”We are here for you, and we will not forget,” Obama said. “We will follow up to make sure you get all the help you need until you rebuild.
“I don’t want anybody to feel that somehow this is all going to get cleaned up overnight,” Obama said. “But what I can promise you is that the federal government will be working as closely as possible with the state and local officials, and we will not quit until this is done.”
The destructive “superstorm” blasted through eight Northeastern U.S. states on October 30, killing dozens of people, battering coastal neighborhoods and forcing mass evacuations.