Judging by his post this morning, Ed and I have must have entered Bizarro World, the planet in Superman comics, where everything is opposite. While Ed bravely praises Christie and defends him from Republican attacks saying that the New Jersey governor is cozying up to President Obama at precisely the wrong time, I am going to join the ranks of the critics.
Ed is, of course, right that a governor must set aside politics when a crisis strikes and tend to it. That’s not only a constitutional obligation, but also smart politics. But by not only praising President Obama repeatedly but also agreeing to tour the storm damage with him today, Gov. Christie is playing politics and for the wrong team. At the best possible moment for Obama and the worst for Romney, Gov. Christie has gone out of his way to provide the president not only repeated praise but something most precious right now: a platform to be commander-in-chief.
I can only imagine the thought and steam bubbles exploding out of Romney’s aides. Couldn’t the governor have stopped at first or even second base, they must be asking. Did he really have to go all the way?
Why would Gov. Christie do this? Well, as we saw in his convention speech, it is all about him. Christie repaid Romney’s kindness in making him the Republican keynoter by using most of the speech to talk about himself. And now he is using the storm to show the world that he really is a different kind of politician, willing to put partisan differences aside and bask in the praise that will bring. So what if that’s good for Obama and bad for Romney? It’s good for Christie.