In comments that perfectly encapsulated not only the severity of the storm but the divisiveness of our national politics and the bluntness of the speaker, New Jersey governor Chris Christie—primetime GOP convention speaker and frequent campaign surrogate for Mitt Romney—heaped praise on Obama’s initial reaction to the storm.
Christie told news outlets that the president’s response had been “outstanding,” said that coordinating with the administration had been “wonderful,” and remarked that “the president has been all over this and he deserves great credit.” He even told Fox News the president had done a “great job for New Jersey” while staying above the fray about politics: “I’ve got a job to do here in New Jersey that’s much bigger than presidential politics, and I could care less about any of that stuff. I have a job to do. I’ve got 2.4 million people out of power. I’ve got devastation on the Shore. I’ve got floods in the northern part of my state. If you think right now I give a damn about presidential politics, then you don’t know me.”
In addition to addressing his state’s storm damage, William Branigin reports, Christie also coordinated alternative voting arrangements for those citizens affected by Sandy:
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) ordered election authorities to allow displaced citizens to apply for a ballot by e-mail or fax. But the state quickly became swamped with requests, and many voters complained that they did not receive a ballot back or could not reach election clerks’ offices. Officials later said some voters may not receive e-mailed ballots until Nov. 9.
Christie nevertheless insisted that the voting was running smoothly.
“Of our 3,000 polling places across the state, less than 100 were compromised and had to be moved,” Christie said, according to the Newark Star-Ledger. “Everyone should find the time to vote today, but the only people who should be applying for their ballots online are voters affected by the storm. Everyone else, get your butt up and go to your polling place like normal.”