President Barack Obama and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie are currently touring the Jersey Shore to survey the Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts. But political reporters and anyone with a cootie catcher knows this visit is about much more than reviving a $40 billion tourism industry or repairing shattered infrastructure: can the president and the governor rekindle the magic that once vigorously and suggestively loosened America's bodice of bipartisanship?
An early White House pool report from Point Pleasant suggests that the pair are off to a promising start:
They looked at a giant sand sculpture in progress on the beach (so far, it's just a wood frame with scaffolding all over it) and talked with the designer, Ed Jarrett. Jarrett told the president he is building it from "top to bottom." The town is going for the Guinness record for sand castles, several folks gathered on the boardwalk said.
"Sand castle. Castle. House. White House," Christie thinks, the salty wind pinning his tie to his back. "But look at this tired man, his head an exhausted nonpareil, his eyes sunken by a panorama of murder. Do I want this? Am I not his equal?"
The party then moved to an arcade called "TouchDown Fever" to try and win a stuffed bear by tossing a football through a tire. Obama tried and missed a few times. Christie then threw the ball through the tire, on his first and only try. Obama gave him a high five ending in a clasp. And said, "That's because he's running for office." The guy behind the counter gave Obama a "Chicago" bear.
"He clasped," the President said to himself, with a sort of giddy shock that nearly prompted him to blurt the words aloud. "He's wearing the Eddie Bauer cellphone case I put on his Pinterest wall. He smiles when I call him 'Chris.' How did he know I love stuffed animals? He CLASPED."
The president is currently giving a speech at a convention hall in Asbury Park, where legends are born.