Rally ’round the Governor: The Response of Voters to Gubernatorial Leadership in Times of Crisis
I don’t give a damn about Election Day after what happened here. I am worried about the people of New Jersey. #Sandy.” In the hours after Hurricane Sandy made landfall in New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie—presumably clad in his now iconic navy blue fleece jacket—solidified his transition from Garden State bully to national bipartisan hero in a single tweet. It was a declaration he continued to repeat to the media in the days leading up to the 2012 presidential election, as he refused a visit from fellow partisan and Republican presidential nominee former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney—a man for whom Christie had been campaigning extensively throughout the 2012 cycle while rumored at one point to become his running mate. Christie, stereotyped up to that point of his first term as brash and bossy due to his Mafioso-like style of governing, had suddenly morphed into a fearless leader of heroic proportions. Showing a more compassionate and courageous side of himself than ever before, Christie gained immense praise state and nationwide for putting politics aside, putting his people first, and—both literally and figuratively—embracing President Obama and the help of the federal government in the storm’s devastating aftermath.
KeywordsNatural Disaster Emotional Response Positive Emotion Strong Leader Favorability Rating
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