Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey is not a popular man to the liberal side of the political spectrum. His brash attitude, lack of a brain to mouth filter, and his ability to save $1 by spending $5 drives us batty. That being said, he is not your typical Republican politician, who only takes an office in order to eye the next office higher up the chain. While the ambition for the office of president may be there in his heart, right now his job title is Governor of New Jersey, and it is a role he has thrown himself in to with full gusto.
Right now, Jersey is recovering from one of the worst disasters to hit it since Lloyd Kauffman opened his movie studio. The total scope of damage from Hurricane Sandy will likely not be known for weeks to come. But what is known is that President Obama is engaged with the Governors of the states affected, including New Jersey’s Governor, Chris Christie:
In various interviews, Governor Christie has had nothing but good things to say about the President, saying that Obama gave the governor his direct line, and has been in constant communication throughout the crisis. In this era of hyper-politics, when congress would rather cause the country to collapse than to see the other side have any success, this is a breath of fresh air to witness such cross-isle cooperation.
These are some of the things Governor Christie has been quoted as saying:
“He gave me his number at the White House and told me to call him if I needed anything”
“I spoke to the president three times yesterday. He called me for the last time at midnight last night asking what he could do. I said, if you can expedite designating New Jersey as a major disaster area that that would help us to get federal money and resources in here as quickly as possible to help clean up the damage here.”
“The president was great last night. He said he would get it done. At 2 a.m., I got a call from FEMA to answer a couple of final questions and then he signed the declaration this morning. So I have to give the president great credit. He’s been on the phone with me three times in the last 24 hours. He’s been very attentive, and anything that I’ve asked for, he’s gotten to me. So, I thank the president publicly for that. He’s done — as far as I’m concerned — a great job for New Jersey.”
And when asked about Romney’s planned photo-op touring the disaster site and if he would be joining Mitt Romney, the Governor had choice words as well:
“I have no idea, nor am I the least bit concerned or interested. I’ve got a job to do here in New Jersey that’s much bigger than presidential politics and I could [sic] care less about any of that stuff.”
“I have a job to do. I’ve got 2.4 million people out of power, I’ve got devastation on the shore, I’ve got floods in the northern part of my state. If you think right now I give a damn about presidential politics then you don’t know me.”
Instead of playing partisan politics, as he could easily have done, Governor Christie is focused on the people of his state, the people he represents. Not 47%, not half, all of them. In one day, Governor Christie has done more to help not only the people of his state, but of the nation as a whole. The gridlock has no place in policy or politics.
They say hardship reveals the truth of a person. This hurricane has revealed a lot about both Presidential candidates, but also about Governor Christie. Obama has taken charge, and focused on the disaster, helping the people effected. Romney has used the disaster as a backdrop for his campaign, with token, worthless ‘aid’ efforts which do more harm than good. And Chris Christie is the real surprise here. With his reputation as a firebrand, and his outspoken and many times abrasive attitude, many expected him to reveal an obnoxious, out of touch brat who cared more about making this an opportunity to catapult himself to higher office. Instead, he revealed that despite his demeanor, he does in fact care about the people of his state, and for the office he holds. Instead of politics as usual, he shrugs off the pundits and focused on getting the job done first and foremost. The people of New Jersey are his people, and anything that hurts them, it hurts him.
A red-letter day when you hear me say these words: