Chris Christie's Obama Conundrum

Elspeth Reeve
Chris Christie's Obama Conundrum

Chris Christie is in an impossible position: the reason the New Jersey governor is parading around the Jersey Shore with President Obama because Christie wants to be president. And to be president, Christie has to be reelected as governor in 2013. But all the things Christie has to do in 2013 are going to kill his chances in the Republican primary of 2016. 

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Christie didn't just match the Obamalove he showed in November, when he hugged Obama called his performance "wonderful," "excellent," and "outstanding," and might have helped the President win reelection. On Tuesday, Christie went further. He won Obama a teddy bear (shown above), according to the White House pool report. They high-fived. Last month, Christie explained their alliance, saying, "Listen, the president has kept every promise that he made... What I was saying at the time was, I was asked how the president was doing, I said, he's doing a good job, he’s kept his word."

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New Jersey voted for Obama over Mitt Romney by 58 percent to 41 percent in 2012. So Christie has to get Obama votes to win. And so far, he is! A May NBC News poll found that 42 percent of Obama voters plan on voting for Christie this fall. An survey from Public Policy Polling in early April found that 42 percent of Obama voters nationwide viewed Christie favorably. But PPP also found that only 36 percent of Romney voters did so, while 31 percent viewed him unfavorably. Republicans in early voting states tell The National Review that the activists who volunteer for, and vote in, presidential primaries are not going to forget Christie's photo ops. Not to mention his attacking "know nothings" in the Republican-controlled House who initially voted down a Hurricane Sandy relief package.

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Maybe Christie holds the same theory that Obama floated in June 2012 -- that after his reelection, the Republican fever would break, and they'll stop demanding all-out opposition to bipartisan compromise. Obama admitted in earlier this month that "it's not quite broken yet." It could be that Christie thinks Obama merely had the timing off — that the fever will break sometime in 2015.

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(Photo via Reuters.)