President Obama will tour damage from the hurricane in New Jersey on Wednesday with Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican and Mitt Romney ally who gave the keynote address at this year’s GOP convention.
The trip is not avowedly political, but images of Obama and Christie walking the New Jersey boardwalk side by side will inevitably be seen through the prism of the presidential election that will take place just six days afterward.
They also could pay political dividends for Obama —especially at a time when TV commercials from Romney have talked up his abilities to reach across the aisle, drawing a clear if implicit contrast with Obama.
Christie has been conspicuously effusive about Obama’s response to Sandy. He described the president as “outstanding” in the crisis during an appearance on NBC’s “Today Show” Tuesday morning. Speaking on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” he said that “the president has been all over this and he deserves great credit.”
The news of Obama’s visit to New Jersey came just moments after the president made brief remarks about the storm which wreaked havoc on the East Coast and has paralyzed New York for a second straight day.