From CAMPAIGN 2012 at The Washington Post:
When a resident in this hard-hit town approached Christie on Wednesday to complain that FEMA had failed to help his neighborhood in the past, the governor assured him that his buddy in the Oval Office would make it right.
“Don’t you worry, pal,” said Christie [...] “I will be with the president this afternoon.”
Hurricanes are scary!!
The sudden love-in between Christie and Obama entered its second day Wednesday, when the two surveyed the destruction from helicopters that glided over submerged streets, blown-out windows, and homes flattened and aflame. They walked together and posed for photos with locals and schoolkids along the coast, with Christie taking the lead, connecting physically and emotionally and acting like the president’s ambassador to his cherished New Jerseyans.
At a subsequent news conference in front of a pile of boats at the Brigantine marina, Christie thanked the president for their “great working relationship” and said Obama had “sprung into action immediately.”
Christie would spring into action, too, but his springs broke about 100 pounds ago.
A Springsteen-quoting Jersey native, Christie has won the hearts of conservatives for pushing tough fiscal measures, including deep cuts that were setbacks for unions, through a Democratic legislature. He has also relished his role berating anyone and everyone who stands in his way.
That has often included the president. As a leading surrogate for Republican Mitt Romney, Christie has been a regular critic of Obama on the campaign trail.
At a Romney rally 10 days (and a seeming lifetime) ago, the governor offered that Obama is “blindly walking around the White House looking for a clue,” adding that “he’s like a man wandering around a dark room, hands up against the wall, clutching for the light switch of leadership, and he just can’t find it.”
Now he is more apt to describe his relationship with Obama as “wonderful,” as he did in the aftermath of the disaster.
Whether or not there is a political motivation here for the governor, there is certainly a potentially big benefit. Insofar as he is talked about as a serious contender in the 2016 presidential race — he nearly took the plunge this year — putting himself above politics to help his home state in a time of disaster is the sort of thing that voters tend to admire.
The friendship is also not a bad development for Obama. With only a week until the election, the president doesn’t seem to be the least bit bothered to have one of the most charismatic figures in the Republican Party at his side. The obvious odd man out is Romney.