During Hurricane Sandy, President Obama and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie joined forces and did what was right for the victims of the hurricane. They did what they were both elected to do, they did what the people wanted. And it was this coming together of the Democratic President and the Republican Governor that caused Christie to see his poll numbers rise among New Jersey Democrats and paved the way for his likely re-election in the upcoming governor’s election, and possible a 2016 run for President.
For his part, the President also benefited from the newly found political relationship as his poll numbers rose right before the November 2012 election, allowing him to defeat Mitt Romney and gave him the opportunity to serve out his second term.
Many in the Republican party blamed Christie for the President’s 2012 win.
But the new found political allies have now gone back to their respective corners as Christie came out on Tuesday and endorsed right winged nut Steve Lonegan to represent New Jersey in the United States Senate. Mr. Lonegan has made questionable comments about President Obama, ObamaCare and immigration, Planned Parenthood among others. He was also the New Jersey state director for Americans for Prosperity, the Koch brothers-aligned group. In his endorsement on Tuesday, Christie said Lonegan was just what New Jersey needed in the Senate.
Obama on the other hand endorsed New Jersey Democrat Cory Booker. In his endorsement, the President said “Cory Booker has dedicated his life to the work of building hope and opportunity in communities where too little of either existed. Whether as a college student working in East Palo Alto or as mayor of New Jersey’s largest city, Cory has time and again taken on tough challenges, fought for the middle class and those working to join it, and forged coalitions that create progress – and that’s the spirit he’ll carry with him to Washington.”
Looking at these two endorsement, it is clear to see that Christie’s endorsement was purely political. The Governor it seems, is trying to win back the hearts and minds of those Republicans in New Jersey and nationwide, who still blames him for Obama’s win. The Latino American Democratic Association of Bergen County has also picked up on Christie’s blatant political move. The group’s president Jorge Nunez, said in a statement, ““We need to call this endorsement for what it is, an endorsement of radical-right-wing extremism and anti-Latino sentiment.”
And Christie’s Democratic challenger for Governor Barbara Buono said through a spokesman, “Just like tea party extremist Steve Lonegan, Governor Christie is anti-choice, anti-Planned Parenthood, anti-marriage equality, and anti-commonsense legislation to reduce gun violence. Their unabashedly conservative views are completely out-of-touch with most New Jerseyans.”
Obama’s endorsement was expected all along. Cory Booker has been a staunch advocate for the President and his policies, so Obama’s endorsement was an easy or obvious conclusion.
So who will win? Will New Jersey see through Christie’s political moves and reward his challenger Barbara Buono? Or will New Jerseyans be blinded by Christie’s love the president today, endorse his adversary tomorrow strategy?
We will all find out on November 5th, 2013!