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Chris Christie and Barack Obama: unlikely love-fest continues

Published: Thursday, Nov. 1 2012 8:27 a.m. MDT

President Barack Obama, center, and Federal Emergency Management (FEMA) administrator Craig Fugate, left, watch as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, second from left, meets with local residents at Brigantine Beach Community Center, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012, in Brigantine, NJ. Obama traveled to Atlantic Coast to see first-hand the relief efforts after Superstorm Sandy damage the Atlantic Coast. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Associated Press) President Barack Obama, center, and Federal Emergency Management (FEMA) administrator Craig Fugate, left, watch as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, second from left, meets with local residents at Brigantine Beach Community Center, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012, in Brigantine, NJ. Obama traveled to Atlantic Coast to see first-hand the relief efforts after Superstorm Sandy damage the Atlantic Coast. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Associated Press)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and President Barack Obama spent an hour on Halloween flying together aboard Marine One to get a bird’s-eye view of the wreckage Hurricane Sandy inflicted on the Garden State.

“Obama, mired in both disaster relief and the fight for re-election, landed Wednesday in New Jersey for a joint tour of storm damage with Christie, a potential future presidential candidate who delivered the keynote address that tore into Obama during this year's Republican national convention,” Josh Lederman wrote for the Associated Press. “Stepping onto the tarmac in Atlantic City, N.J., Obama greeted Christie with a smile and repeated pats on the back. They walked side by side, two leaders confronting trying times, toward the helicopter that took them high above Sandy's destruction.”

Christie and Obama “cemented their new-found mutual admiration society on Wednesday,” Politico’s Reid J. Epstein and Josh Gerstein reported. “The men gushed with praise for one another while touring damage from Hurricane Sandy on the devastated Jersey Shore. … During (their) press statement and an earlier appearance at a nearby storm shelter, Christie publicly thanked Obama at least six times for his dedication to getting help and supplies to the Garden State.”

President Barack Obama is greeted by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie upon his arrival at Atlantic City International Airport, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012, in Atlantic City, NJ. Obama traveled to the region to take an aerial tour of the Atlantic Coast in New Jersey in areas damaged by superstorm Sandy. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Associated Press) President Barack Obama is greeted by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie upon his arrival at Atlantic City International Airport, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012, in Atlantic City, NJ. Obama traveled to the region to take an aerial tour of the Atlantic Coast in New Jersey in areas damaged by superstorm Sandy. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Associated Press)

In fact, for several days prior to Wednesday’s get-together Christie was already singing Obama’s praises during multiple appearances on TV news programs.

“The disaster tour with the president capped a week in which the storm thrust Christie into the brightest limelight,” National Journal’s Naureen Khan wrote. “In typically Christie fashion, he did not mute his personality in the face of a crisis. … Above all, he did not stick to a script. Making the rounds on television, Christie repeatedly praised Obama for his leadership through the storm — a sharp departure from his months of service as an oft-deployed surrogate for Republican nominee Mitt Romney.”

Speaking of Romney, Politico reported that a Christie confidante “dismissed any notion that the GOP governor is harboring any ill will toward Mitt Romney.” Similarly, Romney adviser Russ Schriefer told reporters Wednesday via conference call that Christie’s actions are “the case of a governor doing his job.”

President Barack Obama and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie visit the Brigantine Beach Community Center to meet with local residents, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012,  in Brigantine, NJ. Obama traveled to Atlantic Coast to see first-hand the relief efforts after Superstorm Sandy damage the Atlantic Coast. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Associated Press) President Barack Obama and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie visit the Brigantine Beach Community Center to meet with local residents, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012, in Brigantine, NJ. Obama traveled to Atlantic Coast to see first-hand the relief efforts after Superstorm Sandy damage the Atlantic Coast. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Associated Press)

Jamshid Ghazi Askar is a graduate of BYU's J. Reuben Clark Law School and member of the Utah State Bar. Contact him at jaskar@desnews.com or 801-236-6051.

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