ASBURY PARK, N.J. – The boys of October came back, just in time for summer.
“Jersey, you’ve still got a long road ahead, but when you look out on this beach – this beautiful beach here – even in the rain, it looks good!” President Barack Obama said to thousands who screamed approval on the Asbury Park boardwalk in New Jersey despite a chilly rain Tuesday afternoon.
The Democratic president had just taken a tour of the Jersey Shore with Republican Gov. Chris Christie – reminiscent of the last tour they took, in October, immediately after Sandy battered the state’s coastline.
This time, the circumstances were different: Obama and Christie were taking something of a victory lap, highlighting the federal funds and local resiliency that led to dramatic rebuilding successes in some places. They also were using star power to tell America that the Shore was ready for the summer tourism dollars crucial to the state’s economy.
“For all the folks who are here, the local officials, the county officials and the everyday citizens of New Jersey, the credit goes to all of you,” Christie said. “Thank you for the opportunity to lead you. And welcome back to the Jersey Shore for the summer of 2013.”
Obama, meanwhile, with a folksy lilt to his voice, praised Christie for the “great job” he did during Sandy. And he invoked the slogan for the federally funded post-Sandy Shore tourism marketing campaign: “You are stronger than the storm.”