When you take a look at the electoral calendar, the over the top welcome that New Jersey Chris Christie has given to Barack Obama the last couple of days starts to make sense. This is about Christie’s re-election, and not Obama’s campaign. If you remember, Christie won election in 2009. As such, he has to start his re-election campaign in 7 days effectively.
Thus, in a state where Barack Obama is still relatively popular, it makes sense for Christie to start backing down from his hard anti-Obama rhetoric of the past couple of years. Moreover, a heavy influx of “Obama stash” into the New Jersey economy will also help Jersey’s economy heading into the 2013 re-election campaign. While Christie is being nakedly self serving and short sighted with his comments about not caring about the 2012 election, his personal career will be more affected by Jersey’s economy in say, six months, than it will be by Romney V. Obama in six days.
When you look at his strange bromance through this prism, it makes sense.
Also consider he strange dynamic of Republicans winning in places like New Jersey and Massachusetts in the first place. Even if they are elected with mostly conservative campaigns initially, they always tend to move to the center as they govern. We have seen Senator Scott Brown act far more moderate in office than he did during his 2010 election campaign, for example.
Christie, like Brown, has a very liberal constituency. They both face that reality each and every day. And without a very powerful Obama to run against as a foil – they can be counted on to move left for re-election. We are talking about New Jersey and Massachusetts here after all.