In a remarkable lead editorial in Rupert Murdoch's New York Post today, the newspaper demands that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie inject presidential politics into the cleanup effort under way in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. The Post insists he do so immediately or run the risk of being a labeled a traitor within the Republican Party.
Murdoch's Post, at this very late state of the election run, demands Christie politicize the hurricane relief effort by basically campaigning for Mitt Romney in the context of the killer storm. (Christie hosted President Obama on Wednesday to survey the state's historic damage.) And if Christie does not, the Post warns, "the Republican Party will never forgive him."
From the Post's "Politicking matters" editorial (emphasis added):
But Christie does need to go one step further and reassure his party -- and not just his party -- that he hasn't turned coat.
Yes, Christie has forcefully avoided politicking post-Sandy -- as he noted when asked about his praise for Obama.
And he was right to do so.
But true bipartisanship includes the need to make clear his belief that the incumbent's vigorous response to the disaster would have been more than matched by Mitt Romney had he been president.
The Post's ominous threat to the Republican comes two days after News Corp. CEO Murdoch took to Twitter to announce Christie would be to blame for the "next four dire years" under Obama if the governor didn't "re-declare" his loyalty to Romney:
There's a deep irony in one of Murdoch's partisan properties now lecturing the New Jersey governor about Sandy. It's ironic because in the immediate aftermath of the epic superstorm, Murdoch's Fox News, and particularly its prime-time lineup, couldn't have cared less about the destruction up and down the East Coast, or even the historic flooding and damage in Fox's corporate hometown of New York City.
As Sandy churned inland last week, Fox was focused on its never-ending Benghazi hysteria and portraying Obama as a treasonous coward. The once-in-a-century-storm that dismantled portions of the largest metropolitan area in America? Fox talkers weren't so concerned.
But now Murdoch declares Sandy matters (perhaps he's seen the polling) and wants the governor of the ravaged Garden State to extol the virtues of Romney's disaster relief effort, even though Romney has no federal experience dealing with disaster relief, and even though candidate Romney has no authority to help the state of New Jersey today.
For Murdoch's Post, blind loyalty to the Republican Party trumps public service, even in the most dire of circumstances.