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Two reasons the Obama-Christie photo op in N.J. is worth its weight

Two months ago, Gov. Chris Christie was delivering the keynote at the Republican National Convention. Now, six days before Election Day, he gives President Obama just what he needs: a vision of bipartisanship.

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President Obama, accompanied by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano (2nd from l.) and others, speaks about superstorm Sandy during a visit to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) headquarters in Washington on Wednesday.

Carolyn Kaster/AP

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Technically, President Obama is off the campaign trail Wednesday. But really, he isn’t. When the president steps out to view storm damage in New Jersey with Republican Gov. Chris Christie – keynote speaker at the Republican National Convention just two months ago – it will be politics by other means.

And it will be pure gold, for two reasons.  

First, Mr. Obama gets the obvious photo opportunity of himself acting as commander in chief, in charge, projecting calm, reiterating the message he has put out since superstorm Sandy began to loom: We’re here to help. Whatever you need from Washington, let us know.

The Obama-Christie photo op will be the picture of the day, not Republican challenger Mitt Romney’s three campaign events in Florida.

This assumes that Governor Christie doesn’t blow his stack and tell Obama that Washington has done a terrible job. With the outspoken Christie, you never know. But so far, Christie has been Obama’s best friend during a catastrophe that has hit the New Jersey coast particularly hard.  

On Tuesday, Christie did the rounds on morning TV, praising Obama’s performance. “It’s been very good working with the president and his administration,” Christie said on MSNBC. “It’s been wonderful.”

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