The internets are atwitter today, scratching their collective head to grapple with the fact that a big-name Republican and the biggest-name Democrat HUNG OUT YESTERDAY at the Jersey Shore.
The most obvious explanation is that New Jersey is in a lot of pain right now, needs a lot of hands and a lot of cash. No one in America has more access to what Christie needs to help his state than Obama. And by all early indications, Obama is helping. He called Christie at midnight on Tuesday, roused him out of bed:
POTUS: Chris, Barack here. What do you need?
GOV: Emergency declaration, stat.
And it was. Two hours later, FEMA called Christie to say it was taken care of. That no-nonsene, cut-through-bureaucracy approach speaks to this governor like nothing else. So Christie has expressed appreciation, over and over again, telling everyone that the president has been a pleasure to deal with.
Those on the ground in Jersey, as we reported today, loved the fact that these two disparate politicians came together to visit them. The top liberal blog in the state, Blue Jersey, wrote Christie a public letter of thanks. One reader named Ellis wrote to me asking: "What's the dirty secret motive here that's going to snuff out this small ember of pride I feel for America?"
Well, Ellis, you may be the least cynical guy around. Just consider the reaction from your fellow Americans.
There's the supposition, here, that Christie has inside information that Romney is going to lose. Or that Christie is just prepping for his 2013 re-election campaign in an Obama-loving New Jersey.
The conservative Daily Caller floats several theories, including: 1) Christie wants to help Romney lose so he can run for president himself in 2016, 2) Christie is pissed he wasn't tapped for VP, and 3) Christie and Romney had a fight.
Meanwhile, conservate commentator Tucker Carlson said Christie simply doesn't like Romney, and he's just being passive-aggressive about it by kissing up to Obama.
Jeffrey Goldberg at The Atlantic surmised that Christie is trying to woo his rock idol, Bruce Springsteen, the staunch Democrat who has famously cold-shouldered him.
If that was the goal, looks like it worked. Last night at a concert in Rochester, NY., Springsteen spoke of the Jersey Shore disaster and then essentially dedicated "My City of Ruins" to Christie, saying: "We'll send this out to all the people working down there: the police officers, the firemen, and also to the governor, who has done such a hard job this past week."
Believe what you will. Or just listen to Stephen Colbert break it down in the way only he can: