New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is said to be stunned by the negative reaction among Republicans to his hug of President Obama just days before the election.
Christie’s Obama hug must be judged in the context of his GOP convention address — a self serving speech that barely mentioned Romney. The two episodes present a test for Christie. He flunked.
It is one thing for a Governor to say he needs a positive relationship with the President at a time of crisis. That’s a governor doing his job. But Christie went well beyond that. He gushed over the President’s photo op leadership when no such praise was warranted. Obama’s poor leadership was a central campaign theme and Christie knew it. This was Christie’s attempt to capitalize on the national spotlight to show how “bipartisan” he was. It was a self serving move that will backfire in the GOP.
Many believe, without the storm, and the Christie hug, Mitt Romney would be the next president. We’ll never know. The last ABC News-Washington Post poll released Election Eve had Obama up 50-47, pretty close to how it ended. The same poll had Romney up by one the day the storm hit.
Backstabbing is very common in politics, but rarely is it so visible and so obvious. Christie may have become the darling of the ultra liberal MSNBC and be getting praise from the NY Times editorial page. But among Republicans, he’s toast.