Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Government serving the people - a novel idea in this age of obstruction

Over the last few years what has been most disturbing about the Republican position of obstruction is their willingness to sacrifice the good of the American people for their own political gain. Its happened over and over again - but never more explicitly than in their attempt to take the global economy hostage when it came time to raise the debt ceiling.

It is against that backdrop that Governor Christie's response to the support New Jersey has received from President Obama and FEMA seems so striking.

Christie offered a fairly detailed assessment of conditions in the Garden State, including the fact that there have been three reported fatalities thus far. But when Lauer asked about the efficacy of the federal response, the governor said it's been "great," noting that he spoke directly to President Obama at midnight and FEMA again this morning. Christie said Obama "has been outstanding."

The governor made similar remarks on CBS, saying, "Cooperation from the president of the United States has been outstanding. He deserves great credit."

What's more, Christie told reporters yesterday that he'd spoken to Obama, "and he told me that if, at any point over the next 48 hours, I was not getting something from the federal government that I should call him directly at the White House and that he was going to be there. And I should just not worry about dealing with anybody else, call him. So I appreciate that call from the president. It was very proactive. And I appreciate that type of leadership."
But should we be surprised by this? People's lives and livelihoods are on the line. Of course a Governor is going to appreciate the support of the President and the federal government at a time like this. But the truth is - it hasn't always played out that way.

And so we are a bit shocked when a Republican Governor expresses his appreciation for President Obama's support and assistance. We might naively hope that this kind of thing creates a "new normal" of what it means to govern in a way that actually serves the people. But like you - I'm not going to hold my breath. Perhaps the best we can hope for is that Governor Christie's response will blunt any attempt by Mitt Romney to try to play games with this one.


  1. The president has a faith that good policy will win people over. It is ugly the extent to which it doesn't, but on balance I think it's showing itself to be an effective strategy, and obviously from an ethical point the right one.

  2. While I appreciate Christie's comments, I remember that he had nothing but bad things to say about the President's leadership at the GOP convention. He is positioning himself or 2016 and trying to make up for being in Disneyworld during the last disaster. Of all the people politicizing this hurricane...the one true genius at using this disaster and tragedy to his political advantage while appearing to do his job is Gov. Christie.