The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

October 28, 2013

Christie recalls how Obama reached out after Sandy

TRENTON, N.J. — It may be the defining image of Chris Christie in the days after Superstorm Sandy: the governor clasping President Obama’s hand, the president placing his hand on Christie’s shoulder in a moment of shared grief.

That embrace of the president — a Democrat days away from re-election in a race many Republicans believed at the time still close — still has Republicans seething and pundits analyzing how it will affect Christie’s national potential.

Politics, Christie said, never crossed his mind when Obama called.

“Part of what I don’t think people understand is, political people think I was sitting there thinking about, ‘How do I move the pieces on the chess board?’ ” Christie said during an interview with The Record ahead of the one-year anniversary of the storm. “I was looking at that saying to myself, ‘My God, what am I going to do?’ ”

But it was not until angry Republicans began calling him — two days after Obama’s Oct. 31 visit — that Christie said he started to think about the political implications of that hug, an embrace that came to symbolize their tight, working relationship.

Christie detailed that relationship in an expansive interview in his State House office to mark the one-year anniversary of the storm that reshaped both the state and his career. A politician adept at delivering his message, Christie seemed starkly honest when recalling the emotion of those days and when detailing how he tried to convey that shock to the president.

It was Obama who reached out and initiated the relationship with a phone call on Oct. 30, early on the day after the storm had slammed into the state, Christie said.

That first call came, Christie recalled, as he and his team were struggling to come to terms with the depth of the destruction as it became evident in television images showing houses in the middle of Route 35 and scenes of the ocean meeting the bay in Mantoloking.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State, national news
  • Injured snowy owl ready to be released ST. PAUL (AP) — A rare snowy owl that gained national attention when it was apparently hit by a bus in the nation's capital is scheduled to be released into the wild after a rehab stint in Minnesota. The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota

    April 18, 2014

  • Court case to test 'Buy the Farm' law NEW PRAGUE (AP) — A case set for trial next week is expected to test Minnesota's "Buy the Farm" law, which is meant to require utilities building high-voltage power lines to buy out farms in the way if affected landowners demand it. The case pits th

    April 18, 2014

  • Judge strikes down part of state energy law MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A federal judge ruled Friday that part of a Minnesota law designed to promote the use of renewable energy is unconstitutional because it attempts to control business that takes place outside state borders — and she barred Minnesota

    April 18, 2014

  • White House updating online privacy policy A new Obama administration privacy policy released Friday explains how the government will gather the user data of online visitors to WhiteHouse.gov, mobile apps and social media sites, and it clarifies that online comments, whether tirades or tribut

    April 18, 2014

  • Horse virus cases showing up in Upper Midwest BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — State officials in the Upper Midwest are cautioning horse owners about a virus that spreads easily among the animals and can lead to breathing problems, abortions and nervous system disorders. Three cases of equine herpesvirus

    April 18, 2014

  • Bear attacks spark debate: Kill them, or leave them alone? ORLANDO, Fla.—Dallas Smith thinks he has the answer to Central Florida’s black-bear threat, and he’s ready to lock and load it. “I think the fear of God needs to be put back into them,” said Smith, 47, who wants state authorities to lift restriction

    April 18, 2014

  • Tourism push plays up 'Only in Minnesota' ST. PAUL — (AP) — Say goodbye to "More to Explore." Minnesota tourism promoters ushered in a new slogan Thursday that focuses on "Only in Minnesota" experiences as part of their largest-ever advertising campaign. The revamped message kicks off a maj

    April 17, 2014

  • mfp ap pipeline photo Minnesota Pipe Line seeks to expand capacity MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Pipe Line Co. announced plans Thursday to nearly double the capacity of a crude oil pipeline that carries oil from Canada and North Dakota to the two refineries in the Twin Cities that produce most of Minnesota's and much

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Holder asserts his commitment to fighting heroin WASHINGTON — Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has been crusading for more lenient treatment for nonviolent drug offenders, making it a top priority before he is expected to leave office this year. Recently, however, he has been forced to confront

    April 17, 2014

  • Less-schooled whites lose longevity, study finds ATLANTA — Barbara Gentry slowly shifts her heavy frame out of a chair and uses a walker to move the dozen feet to a chair not far from the pool table at the Buford Senior Center. Her hair is white and a cough sometimes interrupts her speech, but she

    April 17, 2014