Obama-Christie Bromance Breaks Up Over Governor’s Obamacare Exchange Veto

NJ Governor Christie and President Obama break up after post-Sandy idyll.As the bile and vitriol increased to intolerable levels during the weeks leading up to Election Day, we doubted whether the Democrats and Republicans could ever put aside their differences and work together after the election. Then Superstorm Sandy slammed the east coast, wreaking death and devastation in her wake. Americans were horrified and stunned, yet many saw hope flicker in the darkness, as President Barack Obama and NJ Governor Chris Christie — stars of the opposing parties — came together and worked side by side to help their stricken constituents.

Not only did they work together … they genuinely seemed energized by a shared sense of purpose, empathy, and camaraderie which reassured and encouraged local citizenry and sympathetic onlookers. [Cue gauzy, slow-motion photo and video montage with cheesy sound track from tragic movie about doomed lovers, like Love Story with Ali MacGraw.] They laughed … they cried … they hugged people … they waded through puddles and walked through rubble, arm-in-arm …

Photos of Obama and Christie with text: "They laughed ... They cried"

Alas, like all great love stories — Caesar and Cleopatra, Romeo and Juliet, former U.S. congressman Mark Foley (R-Lecher) and countless young boys — Christie’s and Obama’s bromance was bound to end badly. Almost as soon as this unlikely dynamic duo began parading around, imposing their government-mandated storm relief upon unwilling citizens, the GOP — through their minions at Fox News — expressed concern. During Fox News’ October 30th interview with Christie — as covered by my colleague, Nathaniel Downes — they asked the governor a few token questions about the storm damage, then cut to the chase: What about then-Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney? In his typical, blunt fashion, Christie responded that he wasn’t “interested in” doing photo-ops with Romney (understandable given the crisis he was dealing with at the time), and that he appreciated the President’s constructive and timely response to the disaster.

After several news cycles of the Republican governor of New Jersey praising Obama to the skies, his co-partisans had had enough. First, conservative media mogul, Rupert Murdoch, demanded that the New Jersey governor “Re-declare for Romney,” then Rush Limbaugh tore him a new one. By the time the New Jersey tea-baggers who’d swept him into office started pissing and moaning, Christie was pretty much ready to cave. Only one month after the election, New Jersey’s majority-Democrat legislature put a bill on the governor’s desk to establish a healthcare exchange (an Obamacare provision to help small business owners and other individuals negotiate better rates), and Christie vetoed the bill.

According to The Huffington Post (through a report from the Congressional Budget Office), over 25 million people who currently have no health coverage are expected to obtain access through healthcare exchanges within the next decade. These exchanges are supposed to be run as partnerships between the federal and state governments, but Obamacare allows the feds to set up exchanges in states that don’t provide them. So far, states declining to set up health insurance exchanges include Virginia, Wisconsin, Ohio, Missouri, and Arizona.

More from AI on Chrobama, Christie’s response to Hurricane Sandy, and the GOP responding to Christie responding to Hurricane Sandy (in chronological order from earlier to later):

Elisabeth Parker is a writer, Web designer, mom, political junkie, and dilettante. Come visit her at ElisabethParker.Com, friend her on facebook, or follow her on Twitter.