Dear Commons Community,
Chris Christie has had to explain himself to Republicans ever since he thank President Obama for his assistance during Hurricane Sandy. His praise for Mr. Obama delivered in the last days of the presidential race, represented the most dramatic development in the campaign’s final stretch. Right or wrong, conventional wisdom in the Republican Party holds that it influenced the outcome. The New York Times reviews Christie’s position with party leaders, most of whom were and still are critical of his actions. For example:
“On Nov. 3, Mr. Christie called Rupert Murdoch, the influential News Corporation chief and would-be kingmaker, who had warned in a biting post on Twitter that the governor might be responsible for Mr. Obama’s re-election.
Mr. Christie told Mr. Murdoch that amid the devastation, New Jersey needed friends, no matter their political party, according to people briefed on the discussion. But Mr. Murdoch was blunt: Mr. Christie risked looking like a spoiler unless he publicly affirmed his support for Mitt Romney, something the governor did the next day.”
“The tensions followed Mr. Christie to the annual meeting of the Republican Governors Association in Las Vegas last week. At a gathering where he had expected to be celebrated, Mr. Christie was repeatedly reminded of how deeply he had offended fellow Republicans.
“I will not apologize for doing my job,” he emphatically told one of them in a hotel hallway at the ornate Wynn Resort.
His willingness to work closely with the president has cast a shadow over Mr. Christie’s prospects as a national candidate, prompting a number of Republicans to wonder aloud whether he is a reliable party leader.
“It hurt him a lot,” said Douglas E. Gross, a longtime Republican operative in Iowa who has overseen several presidential campaigns in the state. “The presumption is that Republicans can’t count on him.”
“Kenneth G. Langone, the billionaire founder of Home Depot, who told Mr. Christie to ignore carping party activists who he predicted would soon plead with him to seek higher office.
“I said, ‘Governor, if you lead a miraculous recovery of the state of New Jersey, that is all that is going to matter,’ ” Mr. Langone recalled. “They are going to be begging you to run, just like they begged Eisenhower.”
Langone has it right. The Republicans are going to have to get over the fact that they lost the election because of Mitt Romney and his campaign. Chris Christie was doing his job as the governor of a state that was devastated by Hurricane Sandy. He thanked the President for being there to help him and for that he is admonish by his party. Republicans just don’t get it that elected officials should serve their country and people first and the party second.