Spurning Chris Christie, Republicans Continue to Dig Their Own Hole
…The New York Times’ Michael Barbaro reported Tuesday on how the immensely likable, plain-talking governor remains persona non grata among GOP mainstays following the lost presidential election. His crime: suggesting that President Obama performed admirably in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
Make no mistake, Democrats would also be hounding one of their own who heaped praise on a Republican in the waning hours of a close presidential campaign. Imagine if California Gov. Jerry Brown had waited until late October to say he viewed Mitt Romney as a principled, post-partisan leader who could work with one and all. He would need a team of bodyguards to move safely in the deep-blue state Capitol.
But this is one of those moments when tried-and-true partisan hackery and the thoughts of average Americans diverge in a big way. The rapprochement between Obama and Christie — who praised the president’s Sandy response as “outstanding,” “incredibly supportive” and a “great credit” to leadership — pleased a lot of ordinary people. Exit polls found that roughly 1 in 4 voters called Obama’s response to the giant storm an “important factor” in their vote. Christie’s warm embrace of the president presumably went a long way toward affirming that Obama acted presidential, not political, during the crisis.