Asbury Park:The day after Memorial Day, President Barack Obama (D) and Governor Chris Christie (R) put aside political differences to re-visit shoreline communities affected by Super-storm Sandy nearly seven months ago. Their tour started in Point Pleasant and worked north to Manasquan, Belmar, and finally Asbury Park, where approximately 2000 onlookers braved hours of rain to gain a glimpse of both Governor Christie and President Obama together on the boardwalk stage.
Ticketholders were granted admission into the venue located on the boardwalk just to the south side of Convention Hall. Though the rain was teeming at times there was not a seat to be had or a spot to stand. A continual loop of “Jersey” favorites played over the public address system as those in the crowd anxiously awaited the arrival of both Governor Christie and President Obama
At a little after 1:00pm, Governor Christie came to the stage to announce the arrival of President Obama. He took the time to commend the hard work of the local officials, and was thankful that the bi-partisan politics which took place during the past several months helped to put shore towns like Asbury Park back together.
Upon his introduction by Governor Christie, the crowd became electric and full of life. Finally, after three rain soaked hours, the President was finally front and center in the middle of the boardwalk and ready to speak to everyone in attendance.
President Obama’s command of the audience was nothing less than Presidential. He spoke of the power of unity, sharing, and the importance of working together regardless of party lines. He also spoke candidly about his tour of Point Pleasant and how he learned to play Jersey favorites such as “Frog Bog” and “Skeeball.” In addition to playing games, President Obama shared how he “could have enjoyed himself” on the beach when he was younger.
Nevertheless, President Obama’s speech was one that was meant to re-assure that the federal government was there for the people of New Jersey. This visit shows commitment from his office, FEMA, and other agencies working with Governor Christie to help “restore the shore.” Additionally, President Obama made it known that the Federal Government, will not let storm affected areas fall by the wayside. From New Jersey to Oklahoma, The President wanted every American to know that though we live in tough and challenging times, we are not forgotten.
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President Obama spoke for a little less than 15 minutes. When done he entered the media carousel and began shaking hands and greeting with people in the front row of the audience. For the about two minutes President Obama made his way around the barricade and was quickly escorted into Convention Hall and then whisked away, presumably with Chris Christie, to an undisclosed location to continue the tour of the shore.