A Small Window Into Chris Christie’s Approach to Forging Unlikely Alliances with Democrats
Just the latest example: sometime yesterday, New York’s Capitol Confidential blog (hosted by The Albany Times Union) highlighted a Glens Falls Chronicle interview with the political director for the United Association of Plumbers, Pipefitters and Steamfitter.
The relevance for New Jersey political watchers? Governor Christie purportedly called this gentlemen to thank him for union donations to the Sandy relief effort. I’m sure you’ll find the details of their convo (as recalled by the political director, Mr. Bulman) as interesting as we did:
[Bulman] said when he told Mr. Christie he is from upstate New York, “he said, ‘I’m not much different from Andrew Cuomo. I probably agree with him on 98% of the issues.’ ” Mr. Bulman said Gov. Christie “sees value in the building trades, which are private sector unions. He complimented us and said he uses us as an example of a pro-business union.
Mr. Bulman, asked if he thinks Gov. Christie will run for president, said, “I don’t know, but he talked about Israel, and he wanted to make sure we knew he had been traveling abroad.”
Click here to read the full story.
Cuomo and Christie have cooperated numerous times in the recent past on regional initiatives, though the New York Democrat hasn’t always reciprocated the generous compliments served up by his New Jersey counterpart. For whatever it’s worth, Save Jerseyans, I highly doubt Chris Christie literally meant that he agrees with 98% of Governor Cuomo’s policies. Their objective records wouldn’t invite the comparison. Don’t read to much into a percentage!
But the hearsay element isn’t important. What this story does reveal (if factually true) is Christie’s technical approach to backroom inter-party relations, a strategy that imbued the national GOP base with skepticism after Sandy but has also allowed the GOP Governor to forge unlikely yet political-advantageous Democrat alliances here in the Garden State.