It's All Politics
11:05 am
Wed May 16, 2012

Chris Christie, Corey Booker Bridge Partisan Divide With Laughter

Originally published on Wed May 16, 2012 1:24 pm

In our politically polarized age, we need to grab our moments of bipartisan bliss where we find them. Like in a comedic sketch by two New Jersey politicians with with soaring national reputations and who both are widely thought of as eventual White House prospects.

Gov. Chis Christie, the straight-talking former prosecutor widely assumed to be on all-but-official Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's short-list of vice presidential candidate choices, and Newark Mayor Cory Booker, appear in a Seinfeldian skit ("Newman!") that spoofs the hero status the Democratic mayor achieved a few weeks back when he rescued a neighbor from a fire. For good measure, it also takes a poke at Christie's vice presidential potential.

Besides an ability to laugh at themselves, both Booker and Christie have shown a willingness to cross partisan lines, with Christie working with Democratic leaders in the state even as he has clashed with New Jersey's teachers' union, a key constituency of the state's Democratic party.

Booker, meanwhile, has supported some typically Republican positions, like the idea of private school voucher programs that are generally the bane of public school teachers unions.

Clearly, besides sharing an openness to crossing ideological lines, both men also know what politicians have known since the first one stood up a rock with an appeal for the support of his fellow cavemen - one of the best political skills is the ability to get people to laugh with you and maybe sometimes even at you.

Of course, if the two wind up facing off against each other in some future election, always a possibility, there will probably be a lot fewer smiles all around.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.