President Barack Obama, accompanied by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, stop to play the ‘Touchdown Fever’ arcade game on the boardwalk during their visit to Point Pleasant, NJ., May 28. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama was looking to get his groove back — at the beach.
President Obama and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie promoted the Jersey Shore’s summer tourism economy Tuesday while praising the federal government’s role in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, reprising their beach-buddy routine in a display of mutual assistance with potential political dividends.
Despite a steady drizzle, the Democratic president and the Republican governor tried their hand at arcade football and the president declared that the state’s popular shore was back seven months after the devastating storm bore down on its famed boardwalks and seaside towns.
“You are stronger than the storm,” Obama said, borrowing a line that Christie himself uses in a federally funded advertising campaign touting Jersey Shore tourism. “After all you’ve dealt with, after all you’ve been through, the Jersey Shore is back and it is open for business.”
After the rapport both men established in the wake of the October storm, Tuesday’s joint tour from Point Pleasant Beach to Asbury Park held opportunities for both. Obama, eager to put a competent face on the federal government after the troubles facing the Internal Revenue Service, used the visit to praise the response of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. For Christie, it was a chance to showcase the state’s cherished beaches and draw attention to a $40 billion industry in the state.