In the wake of Hurricane Sandy and at the apex of election season 2012, New Jersey governor Chris Christie took a lot of flak from fellow Republicans for public appearances of good old fashioned ‘bipartisan cooperation’ with the Obama administration as Sandy relief efforts began en masse following the storm’s destructive path through NYC metro area, and especially parts of the Jersey Shore.
Rush Limbaugh went so far as spew: “He’s fat and a fool. Don’t listen to Governor Christie. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about.” Discussing this and other GOP pundit’s over reach on the issue, Susan Milligan of US News & World Report responded:
“New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who himself has done a stellar job responding to the terrible tragedy in his state, has also praised President Barack Obama for his attention to the crisis. This display brought out the worst in the TV pundit and radio talk show hosts, who speculated that Christie was cozying up to Obama to get more disaster aid for his state, or that he was trying to look bipartisan to help him win re-election in a majority Democratic state. Is there really not another explanation, that both Christie and Obama are concerned about the victims of a destructive storm? Has the new normal become a world where there’s something automatically suspicious about just doing the right thing?
Well, it appears Chris Christie’s going to get the last laugh instead of FOX News & Co. — just look at the most recent approval ratings from yesterday’s Quinnipiac poll. 72%. Seventy two percent! No, that’s not a misprint in this day and age where anything above 50% is considered a “high” approval rating. Heck, Christie’s now several times more popular than Congress!
Christie’s high watermark in the wake of the storm set a new record for the office of New Jersey Governor, and even 52% of Democrats registered their approval, providing an example for our nation’s politicians that strong bipartisan action and rhetoric in combination can produce actual bipartisan support. Unfortunately, it shouldn’t take a freak Hurricane for our politicians to put aside their differences and actually work together, but at least this surge in Governor Christie’s popularity in direct response to how he’s handled the disaster management of “superstorm Sandy” has shown that voters do appreciate the ability to work across the aisle.
Now if only we could send Governor Christie and his “loud mouth” into the fiscal cliff negotiations, maybe we’d get somewhere…