Wednesday, October 31, 2012

New Jersey Republican Gov Christie praises Democratic President Obama's leadership in an about face amid Hurricane Sandy devastation

'Praise' and 'scorn' all in a day's politics
amid Hurricane Sandy's devastation  
 by Mike Marcellino

New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie, the main surrogate for Mitt Romney in  tight race to unseat President Barack Obama, may have discovered that praising your political enemy beats "scorn." In the past Christie has been anything but timid in wailing against Obama's "lack of leadership."  In any case Gov Christie made the rounds on the morning shows to do his flip flop.

"President Obama has been outstanding" - New Jersey Gov Chris Christie

Republican Gov. Chris Christie, Mitt Romney's chief surrogate, walks hand in hand with Democratic President Barack Obama during a Hurricane Sandy stop.

Writing this opinion piece reminds me of reading Nineteen Eighty Four, the George Orwell fictional satire on totalitarianism and the dictatorship's "doublethink" and "doublespeak."  Now in 2012 and the Internet age, it's getting awfully hard to know the truth when you hear or read the words of our national political leaders.

In American government and politics, especially in these days of federal government gridlock, it's not what appears to be evident that matters; it's what lies below the surface, in the wheeling and dealing in our nation's capital and the state capital.  Case in point:  Republican Gov. Chris Christie, who almost ran for president in this election though he was only in his second year as governor. 

Christie today on CNN's Piers Morgan show praised Democratic President Barack Obama for being "very cooperative" aiding New Jersey, including the beach towns like Seaside Heights where Christie grew up, devastated by super storm Hurricane Sandy. 

On the surface folks think like Piers, who gushed over Christie, that the Republican governor is a straight shooter, not playing politics.

Think again.  Christie appeared to care deeply and sincerely about his state and its people reeling from 12 foot storm surges, heavy rains and high winds.  Sandy caused three deaths in New Jersey and a total of more than 40 in the U.S. and $10-20 billion in damage.  

But, praising President Obama for doing his job could play very well among independent and wavering Democrats for Obama.  His tact could also play well when Governor Christie runs for president most likely in 2016,  unless Mitt Romney wins the election less than seven days away. Christie appeared on television as a good guy and operating in a non-partisan governing fashion, rather than the political same ol' same ol', so prevalent in recent years.

If Christie had criticized Obama for his handling of the natural disaster that could have hardened his support among Democrats and independents. 

One must also look at Christie's record of being implicated but never prosecuted on one scandal after both as U. S. Attorney in New Hersey and governor.

So, when reading the headlines and stories or watching on television, look below the surface to try to get at true motivation for words and deeds.

One thing we know for sure - President Obama must be doing one hell of a good job dealing with killer super storm Hurricane Sandy. If you don't believe me, as his opposition.

New Jersey Republican Gov Christie', a sharp critic of President Obama's failed leadership, does an about face on Democrat Obama's leadership amid Hurricane Sandy devastation.  Christie, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's chief surrogate,  calls Obama's leadership "outstanding.   Maybe we should call off the election and declare Obama the winner.  With Romney suddenly adopting most of President Obama's domestic and foreign relations stances, I am starting to see a Republican strategy of embracing your political enemy in order to defeat him. 

Here's some "political intelligence" from the Boston Globe on Gov. Christie's about face on President Obama's leadership.

Chris Christie, fierce Obama critic, praises president’s response to Hurricane Sandy

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who has blasted President Obama’s leadership, heaped praise on Obama on Tuesday for his handling of Hurricane Sandy.

“The president has been outstanding in this and so have the folks at FEMA,” Christie said on NBC’s “Today” show.
Christie, whose state is among the hardest hit by the storm, made appearances on several morning talk shows on Tuesday and applauded Obama at each stop.

On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Christie said “the president has been all over this, and he deserves great credit. He gave me his number at the White House and told me to call him if I needed anything and he absolutely means it, and it’s been very good working with the president and his administration.”

On CNN’s “Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien,” Christie added that Obama “has been incredibly supportive and helpful to our state, and not once did he bring up the election.”
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Christie is a prominent surrogate for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and was tapped to deliver the keynote address at the Republican National Convention in August. During that speech, Christie used variations of the word “leader” 17 times, often in the context of criticizing Obama.

“It’s time to end this era of absentee leadership in the Oval Office and send real leaders to the White House,” Christie said at the convention in Tampa.
“I believe in America and her history,” he added at another point. “There’s only one thing missing now: leadership.”

Callum Borchers can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @callumborchers.
Here's the Piers Morgan 'chat' with Gov Christie