One of the stranger political bromances had its second act on Tuesday, as President Obama and Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie played games on the boardwalk, exchanged high fives and declared the Jersey Shore "open for business."
Reuniting for the first time since their high-profile meeting ahead of November's presidential election, the duo framed their get-together as a rare bipartisan accord in a toxic political environment. The high-profile love fest is also likely to turn off staunch conservatives still seething from what they view as Christie offering Obama an assist on the eve of a presidential election.
The president opened his remarks Tuesday with a nod to the "great work" Christie had done in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Introducing the president, Christie said the well-being of New Jersey residents was "more important than politics."
Earlier, the pair played the carney game "Touchdown Fever" on the boardwalk. Obama was unable to toss a football through a tire — even with five tries. The New Jersey governor made it on his first attempt, winning Obama a stuffed teddy bear in a Chicago Bears jersey.
Obama joked that while Christie bested him in the carnival game, the president paid for the governor's throws.
With the day trip, Obama was looking to take the focus away from Washington and a trio of scandals overwhelming his administration. For his part, Christie welcomed the presidential attention just a few months ahead of his re-election bid in an overwhelmingly blue state.
And with public confidence in government institutions waning, Obama looked to highlight federal efforts to rebuild the Jersey Shore.
"When we make a commitment that we've got your back, we mean it," Obama said. "And we're not gonna finish until the work is done."