Jon Stewart summed up Chris Christie’s 180 on Obama’s leadership after Hurricane Sandy by asking, ‘I guess he found that f**king lightswitch, huh?’
But my favorite came straight out of New Jersey whose governor Chris Christie kicked crazy ass during the storm. He’s been one of Mitt Romney’s most outspoken allies throughout the presidential campaign. This is him just twelve days ago, ‘The president doesn’t know how to lead. He’s like a man who is wandering around a dark room hand up against the wall clutching for the light switch of leadership, and he just can’t find it and he won’t find it in the next eighteen days.’
(Stewart said,) Obama couldn’t find a stack of old newspapers in an episode of Hoarders. I’m tellin ya. This guy couldn’t find a container at the Container Store. I’m tellin ya. Obama couldn’t lead a bunch of eels to the Sargasso Sea. Their natural spawning ground, so look it up. But that was of course before America was living with a pre-nine foot eleven inch storm surge mentality.
(Clips of Christie personally praising and thanking Obama.)
Yeah, I guess he found that f**king lightswitch, huh?
To his great credit, Chris Christie realized the storm was real, and that he had a job to do, so it was time to slalom down Bulls**t Mountain, and deal with this Obama (picture of Christie and Obama), not this Obama (picture of Clint Eastwood and his empty chair).
Jon Stewart seized on the one political question coming out of Sandy that everyone is talking about. Why did Chris Christie go out of his way to professionally and personally praise and thank President Obama?
Speculation abounds, but the simple explanations are likely the most accurate. Chris Christie really was putting politics aside. Christie has backed up his talk of going beyond partisanship by thus far denying Romney his photo op with Christie in the disaster area. The other possible reason is that Christie and Obama share the common goal of helping the residents of a state that was hit hardest by a natural disaster.
While the attention has been on Christie, it is easy to overlook that President Obama is also backing up his talk about bipartisanship. Obama is backing up his words about working with Republicans by working with one of his biggest critics in the Republican Party. Christie has been Romney’s highest profile attack surrogate. Maybe if bipartisanship wasn’t weaved into Obama’s character he might have behaved differently, but Obama has tended to put doing what he thinks is right for the country ahead of his own political ambitions.
In a way there is something sad about the fact that our political environment has become so polarized that a too rare instance of the highest profile Democrat and a high profile Republican coming together is worthy of praise from Jon Stewart and others, but this is the political reality that we are living in.
While Mitt Romney was in Ohio holding a fake fundraiser that stands as a shining example of the cynical and manipulative things that our politics can be, Obama and Christie are reminding the country of the better angels of our political nature.
Chris Christie escaped from the conservative bubble and met the real Barack Obama, and Jon Stewart isn’t the only who liked what he saw when Obama and Christie worked together.
In a moment of crisis Obama and Christie showed the country what it could be, as Mitt Romney was left on the outside selling more of the partisan poison that has sickened us all for too long.