Yesterday afternoon, President Obama visited some of New Jersey's most Hurricane Irene-damaged areas—Paterson and Wayne. After being welcomed by Governor Chris Christie and Senators Lautenberg and Menendez in Newark, the President was greeted with cheers (see video). He said, "The entire country is behind you. I want to make it very clear that we are going to meet our federal obligations... We know it could have been worse, but we should not underestimate the heartache that's going through a lot of these communities and affecting a lot of these families. And we want to make sure that we're there to help."
The Star-Ledger reports, "With piles of furniture and carpeting lining the street, residents described how high the water had come and how long they had been evacuated. Francisco Alarco of 175 Fayette said the water had gone over his front deck and into the House. After Obama posed for pictures and shook hands with his family, Alarco said he felt better about things." Alarco explained, "I am very happy. When I heard he was coming to Paterson I was hoping he'd come here and it happened."
The Post , which ran a subheadline of "Waterlogged prez buoyed by Christie", noted, "Just two weeks ago, Christie was bashing Obama's leadership skills on such issues as the economy and health care. But Christie -- who warmly welcomed the president as he touched down on the governor's home turf -- has had nothing but praise for the administration's response to the storm." Further, Christie disagrees with Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor who thinks Hurricane Irene aid should be offset by spending cuts.