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On first night back, Stewart and Colbert praise Chris Christie

November 01, 2012|By Meredith Blake

Hurricane Sandy forced Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert to cancel their shows Monday and Tuesday, but Wednesday night “The Daily Show” and "The Colbert Report" were back on the air – and boy, was it good to have them back.

Both hosts took the opportunity to praise the first responders, medical professionals, transit workers and government officials who worked to save lives throughout the storm and its messy aftermath, singling out the performance of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in particular.

Stewart praised the governor unreservedly, saying he “kicked crazy ass during the storm.” The compliments came in a segment called “A Daily Show Tribute to Institutional Competence,” during which he observed, “It’s amazing how, once you remove political and partisan gamesmanship from a situation, performance improves dramatically.”

By way of example, he pointed to the dramatic shift in Christie’s tone toward President Obama. Twelve days ago, the Republican was fiercely bashing Obama, comparing him to a “man wandering around a dark room, hand against the wall, clutching for the light switch of leadership.” But, Stewart noted, “that was when America was still living with a pre-9-foot, 11-inch storm-surge mentality.”

This week he was singing a different tune, heaping praise on Obama’s quick response and “outstanding cooperation.” “I guess he found that ... light switch, huh?” Stewart quipped.

For his part, Colbert contrasted Christie’s leadership with that of Mitt Romney, who drew criticism for superficially restaging an Ohio campaign event as a “relief rally.” “It’s not just the hurricane that’s hurting Romney. He has to deal with another threat that can be seen from space, Chris Christie,” Colbert joked.

He argued that Christie was “so interested in addressing the needs of his constituents” that he’s lost sight of what really matters: partisan politics.

Why else -- in an interview on Fox News, of all places -- would Christie say that he didn’t “give a damn” about the presidential campaign, and claim he didn’t know or even care if Romney planned to visit the devastated shoreline.

Colbert had only one explanation for the unexpected bromance between Obama and Christie: “Hurricanes have a well-known liberal bias.”

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