President Barack Obama took time from campaigning Monday—not to tout his record as job creator or his role in the auto industry bailout, but to play peacemaker between Bruce Springsteen and his home state’s governor, Chris Christie.
Here in Campaign 2012’s desperate last stages, Springsteen has emerged as the Obama effort’s unofficial bard, even traveling with the president on Air Force One Monday. Meanwhile, Christie, who many Republicans hoped would seek the presidency, has emerged as an unlikely Obama admirer in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
The president and New Jersey’s governor have spoken by phone every day since the storm and even toured devastated areas together, much to the chagrin of Christie’s fellow Republicans. The backbiting has been so bad, that Christie was forced to restate his endorsement of Mitt Romney, though he declined to attend a rally for the GOP candidate Sunday.
Meanwhile, Obama became aware that Christie had his own sore spot when it came to Springsteen, a New Jersey native and still a resident of the state. It seems the governor is a big time fan, who has attended more than 120 Springsteen concerts over the years. But the singer—a committed and quite progressive Democrat—never acknowledged the Republican politician’s presence, not even in tiny, club-sized venues, like the legendary Stone Pony in Asbury Park.
Monday, according to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, when Christie called, Obama "told the governor he had someone who wanted to speak with him, Springsteen, who was using the handset across the table from the president, said, 'Governor, this is Bruce.'" Carney was silent on their conversation.
Will it be the start of a friendship? Stay tuned.