The founder of the influential weekly newspaper The Irish Voice says New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s surprising bear hug embrace of the president during his tour of Hurricane Sandy’s devastation of the Garden State is set to deliver Barack Obama another four years in the White House.
“It was an extraordinary moment and a dagger aimed at the heart of Republican contender Mitt Romney who had passed Christie over for the Vice President,’’ veteran journalist Niall O’Dowd said today on the website Irish Central.
“Since [Christie] did so the polls have moved perceptively to Obama, which should allow him to eke out a 51 per cent to 49 per cent victory in the popular vote I predict.’’
O’Dowd says the bear hug, which was shown on television and in newspapers around the country was a calculated move by the beefy politician after he was reportedly snubbed as Romney’s first choice as a running mate in favor of Paul Ryan.
“Christie saw himself on the sidelines and knew a victory for Romney essentially sidelined him for a possible eight years. He likely made a calculation that Obama would be re-elected,’’ O’Dowd said. “Facing probable political oblivion, Christie acted.’’
He added that by embracing Obama, Christie has “ensured that moderate Democrats will be naturally drawn to supporting him when he runs for re-election.
“It was a lifeline to Obama. Barack Obama was in a desperate fight to the death last week and in a dead heat at best when the hurricane struck. Americans rally to the president in a crisis and Obama has the Commander-in-Chief down to an art form.
“But the Christie embrace was the icing on the cake. Americans yearn for the type of cross community politics that sees politicians from opposite sides work together.’’
He said there are “few more popular figures than the larger-than-life Christie who has never met a doughnut stand he didn’t like and calls a spade a spade.’’
O’Dowd, a founder of the Irish Americans for Clinton campaign in 1991, led an Irish American peace delegation to Northern Ireland after Clinton’s election.
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