It was a typical day at the Jersey Shore except one of the guys throwing 0 for 5 at the boardwalk game Touchdown Fever was the president of the United States, accompanied by Gov. Chris Christie, who won a stuffed toy on his first throw. Being a good sport, the president gave Christie a high five for his great aim.
Politics' favorite odd couple reunited on Tuesday for a tour of areas damaged by Hurricane Sandy last fall.
The visit gave the Republican governor a chance to promote the rebuilding efforts as his state prepares for the start of the summer tourist season. It also was an opportunity for President Obama to escape the media glare on the recent scandals plaguing his administration and to boast about the role that the Federal Emergency Management Administration played in helping New Jersey regain its sea legs.
Obama and Christie met with business owners and families affected by the storm. The president also is scheduled to deliver remarks at the Asbury Park Convention Hall.
"There is still a lot of work to be done," Obama told the crowd. "But thanks to the hard work of an awful lot of people, we've got wonderful shops and restaurants and arcades that are opening their doors. And I saw what thousands of Americans saw over Memorial Day weekend: You are stronger than the storm. After all you've dealt with, after all you've been through, the Jersey Shore is back, and it is open for business."
Though the pair clearly enjoyed themselves, there were no bipartisan hugs this time around. Republican feathers were ruffled last year when after the storm struck toward the end of the presidential campaign, Christie praised Obama's rapid response to Sandy's damage and his leadership.
White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters traveling with the president today that Obama thinks the governor has done an excellent job with the rebuilding effort.
On Sunday the president flew to Moore, Oklahoma, to pledge emotional and financial support to the victims of tornadoes that devastated the town last week, killing 24 people and destroying thousands of homes and businesses in the Oklahoma City area.
"As fellow Americans, we're going to be there as shelter from the storm for the people of Moore who have been impacted," Obama said in remarks delivered at the flattened Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore. "And when we say that we've got your back, I promise you that we keep our word."
The president, who later met with local first responders, also urged "every American to step up. Go online. Donate to the Red Cross."
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(Photo: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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