Obama Brokers Peace Between Chris Christie and Bruce Springsteen
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 final stages, Springsteen has emerged as the Obama effort’s unofficial bard, even traveling with the president on Air Force One on 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 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.
According to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, when Obama called Christie from Air Force One on Monday, he "told the governor he had someone who wanted to speak with him."
Christie said the president told him that "in times of real difficulty, the only thing better than one Jersey guy were two Jersey guys. And he put Bruce Springsteen on the phone."
At a press conference, Christie said, "Bruce said to me how proud he was of his state and how proud he was of the people in this state and how tough they are. And he'll be back to the Jersey Shore soon. We had a good conversation today."
The governor added, "It was great to talk to the president and even better to talk to Bruce."