November 2, 2012 by Nash Riggins
Throughout the past several months, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has proven to be one of Mitt Romney’s loudest supporters – and, subsequently, one of President Obama’s harshest critics; however, this week Governor Christie has wholeheartedly changed his tune.
Following the devastation wrought on his state by Hurricane Sandy – which has claimed around 90 lives – the boisterous Republican has spent the last two days touring the devastation with President Obama in an effort to apply aide where it is most necessary. With the Presidential election only days away, this display of cross-party unity could be the boost that Mr Obama desperately needed.
“The federal government’s response has been great. I was on the phone at midnight again last night with the President, personally, he has expedited the designation of New Jersey as a major disaster area,” Christie said today. “The President has been outstanding in this, and so have the folks at FEMA.”
Even White House officials seemed rather surprised by Governor Christie’s overwhelming show of support. Accordingly, critics are already speculating whether Christie’s move illustrates his lack of desire to push the agenda of Mitt Romney’s far-right social policies for the next four years – which could very well ruin Christie’s grip on power in a relatively blue state. Speculation aside, however, it’s safer to assume that Christie’s support stems from a far simpler ideology: ‘give credit where credit is due’.
Indeed, not even Conservative pundits can deny the President’s well-placed eagerness to display his leadership, with only days left before said leadership is called into question. Yet with challenger Mitt Romney staying as far away from a ravaged New England as physically possible, Mr Obama may as well rebrand Hurricane Sandy to be ‘Hurricane Godsend’.
In fact, not only has President Obama simultaneously been able to put his decisive leadership on display whilst wooing Mitt Romney’s biggest support, but he’s also inadvertently caught his opponent out on yet another 180 degree policy turn.
Just last summer, Mr Romney claimed that disaster response sourced from the federal government was a complete waste of time and money that put America’s future at risk.
“We cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids,” Romney said when asked if his ‘small government’ ideology applied to disaster relief. “It is simply immoral, in my view, for us to continue to rack up larger and larger debts and pass them on to our kids.”
Meanwhile, the Romney Campaign yesterday found itself hastily attempting to reassure victims of Hurricane Sandy that a prospective President Romney would – just like his ‘socialist, big government’ opponent – ensure that funding to federal disaster relief organisations would become a top priority.
“I believe that FEMA plays a key role in working with states and localities to prepare for and respond to natural disasters,” Romney said in a statement on Wednesday. “As President, I will ensure FEMA has the funding it needs to fulfill its mission, while directing maximum resources to the first responders who work tirelessly to help those in need.”
So, it turns out that Mitt Romney and his anti-government Republican fan base are far more supportive of the federal government’s ability to coordinate disaster relief programmes than their preceding ideological rants would have voters believe. The Obama Campaign hasn’t really bothered to highlight the hypocrisy at play here – in truth, it shouldn’t have to. Meanwhile, Romney is left to watch his opponent enjoy high priase from top Republican supporters, who simply “cannot thank the president enough for his personal concern and compassion”.
In all, it appears as if President Obama’s reelection campaign has already gotten a huge boost from Hurricane Sandy – and what’s more, he’s acquired said boost without doing any campaigning whatsoever. As a result, one can’t help but wonder just how far ahead Mr Obama would be in the polls today if he had abandoned his campaign months ago in order to focus on his task at hand: effectively running the country.
No accurate polls can yet determine the impact that Hurricane Sandy has had upon the US Presidential election; however, Chris Christie may have duly answered this question today after being asked on Fox News whether his pal Mitt Romney was planning on visiting New Jersey. The Governor’s response: “I have a job to do. If you think right now I give a damn about presidential politics, then you don’t know me.”
As the dust from this political storm begins to clear, Mitt Romney had better straighten out his campaign – and the clock is ticking.