President Obama toured the destruction and devastation left in the wake of Hurricane Sandy yesterday.
To date, more than 70 deaths have been blamed on the superstorm. More than 3 million people are still without power.
Accompanied by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Obama expressed a commitment to seeing that clean-up and recovery happen as quickly as possible.
Forsaking partisan politics for the third day in a row, the president helicoptered with Gov. Chris Christie over washed-out roads, flooded homes, boardwalks bobbing in the ocean and, in Seaside Heights, a fire still burning after ruining about eight structures.
Back on the ground, the president introduced one local woman to “my guy Craig Fugate.” In a plainspoken demonstration of the power of the presidency, Obama instructed the man at the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, a 7,500-employee federal agency, to “make sure she gets the help she needs” immediately.
Of course, politics crept into discussions of Obama’s Sandy visit.
Many were struck by a seemingly strong, cooperative relationship between President Obama and Republican Governor Chris Christie.
After so many months of nasty, partisan politics, it was refreshing – and even quite shocking – to see a high profile Republican praise our Democratic President.
Especially during such a close election.
It was a tableau that seemed impossible a week ago – a president struggling to defend his economic record in a tight election, flying off to a non-battleground state to spend the afternoon in the company of the man who delivered the keynote address at Romney’s Republican National Convention this summer.
Three hours later, the two men spoke of one another in glowing terms.
“He has sprung into action immediately,” said Christie.
Said Obama of the governor, “He has put his heart and soul into making sure the people of New Jersey bounce back stronger than before.”
To find out how you can contribute to Hurricane Sandy relief efforts, visit RedCross.org
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