The lovefest between New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and President Obama is over, another sign that partisanship is rising again across the board.
Christie got considerable media attention over the weekend for criticizing Obama, whom he had praised during last year's presidential campaign because of the rapid federal response to Superstorm Sandy that decimated the Jersey Shore. Christie was criticized in turn by some fellow Republicans for his positive approach to Obama at a key point in the campaign.
But on Friday, Christie turned negative. He said Obama "can't figure out how to lead,"and was more concerned with ideology than "getting things done." When he was asked about his positive response to Obama after the storm, Christie said he didn't vote for Obama in the November election and added: "I don't want him to be president."
Christie is seeking re-election as governor this year and is considered a possible GOP presidential candidate in 2016.
It's part of a pattern. Officials in Washington are returning to their partisan ways, too. Political scientist Ross Baker of Rutgers University says "polarization" is still driving American politics at a fundamental level, as it has for years.
Baker points out that the House of Representatives, controlled by Republicans, is unlikely to pass the immigration bill that the Democrat-controlled Senate endorsed last week with much self-congratulation. Few House conservatives are likely to be swayed by the Senate because they have strong objections to some provisions of the Senate bill, such as a "path to citizenship" for many people who entered the United States illegally.
Many Republicans are also ideologically opposed to Obama's plans to use regulations and executive actions to reduce climate change. They include House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and legislators from states that develop large amounts of coal, the use of which Obama wants to reduce. Many Democrats are just as adamant in support of Obama's plans.
Many conservatives also remain opposed to same-sex marriage despite considerable movement at the state level toward legalization.
Other issues on which the politicians in Washington remain deeply divided are gun control, abortion, health care overhaul, farm legislation, and how to cut the deficit, create jobs and improve the overall economy.
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Ken Walsh covers the White House and politics for U.S. News. He writes the daily blog "Ken Walsh's Washington" for usnews.com and "The Presidency" column for the U.S. News Weekly. He is the author of the new book "Prisoners of the White House: The Isolation of America's Presidents and the Crisis of Leadership." Ken Walsh can be reached at email@example.com and on Facebook and Twitter.