It started off as a media term to denote the flood of Democrats eager to endorse or vote for New Jersey’s Republican governor, and was rapidly picked up by Chris Christie in an email blast and commercial as “2013: The Year Of The Christie-Crat.”
“Christie-crats” may be any one of the 43 elected Democratic officials who have lined up behind Christie. It may even refer to President Barack Obama, who warmed to Christie in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, a week before the Democrat’s reelection.
Again in June, Obama held a well-publicized arm-in-arm walkaround with Christie during a visit to New Jersey to mark the resurgence of the summer tourist season. It was not that hard to realize that he had nary a greeting with state Sen. Barbara Buono, the Democrat running against Christie in November.
Christie, who is frequently mentioned as a Republican contender for the 2016 presidential election, may seek to replicate his nickname on the national level.
Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo, a major Democratic powerbroker in New Jersey, said the reason he is backing the combative governor is because he is the symbol of “bipartisanship.”
“It is because what he has shown of working across the aisle,” said DiVincenzo, referring to the term “Christie-crat.”
Following three years of bashing Obama as “incompetent,” Christie has gone out of his way since Sandy to show he was standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the Democrat, even as he was criticized for undermining Republican Mitt Romney’s unsuccessful presidential ambition.
When House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) pulled a bill that the Senate voted on to provide the tri-state area with a $60 billion Sandy aid package, Christie did not hesitate to call out the Republican party by name, comparing them unfavorably to Obama, who he said returned his calls and promised whatever funds was needed.
“There’s only one group to blame for the continued suffering of these innocent victims: The House majority and their speaker, John Boehner,” Christie said. “…My party was responsible for this.”
Polls show that voters appreciate the brash governor’s style. He is ahead 61 percent to Buono’s 29 percent in a July survey.
And with Democrats holding a 33 to 20 percent advantage over Republicans in the state, Christie owes his support to the Christie-crat.