President Obama and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie surveyed Sandy's damage in the Garden State today, with each politician taking pains to acknowledge the other's exceptional leadership skills during a crisis. "I want to just let you know that your governor is working overtime to make sure that as soon as possible everybody can get back to normal," Obama told a crowd in Brigantine, New Jersey. Christie then returned the favor: "It's really important to have the president of the United States acknowledge all the suffering that's going on here in New Jersey and I appreciate it very much." However, the pool report fails to acknowledge rumors that the president gently brushed Christie's bangs out of his face as Modern English's "I Melt With You" blasted through the PA system.
Pool reporter Kathleen Hennessey noted that the people at the event seemed to be pleased with the president.
Robin Barrella, a 51-year-old cocktail waitress at Harrah's, came to the shelter two nights ago. She hasn't seen her house since the water was starting to come in on Tuesday. "I'm almost afraid to see it," she said.
On the president she said: "If it wasn't for him ... Since he's been our president, things have gotten a little easier. I'm a single parent, I've had it hard. I get food stamps now. I lost my job I was able to get insurance for myself and my son. So I like him we're very excited."
Cheryl Howardell watched the president from a table at the back of the room. Howardell said she came to the center Thursday morning looking for hot coffee and somewhere to charge her phone.
She said she's lived on Brigantine since 1957 and never seen the water come up as high as it did this week. She saw waves crashing down her street.
"It was scary. I'll never stay again," she said.
Of the president's visit, she said: "It's wonderful I can't imagine that the president would come to our small island." Howardell sat next to her brother, Tucker smith, a 70-year-old retired NYC firefighter.
"He's not just talking, he's here doing something," Smith said of the president.
Both said they plan to vote for the president next week.
Meanwhile, Mitt Romney is campaigning in Florida, and says he has no plans to tour any areas affected by Hurricane Sandy. He is, however, more than happy to spend $5,000 at Wal-Mart to give supporters props at a donation event.