The odd couple: Christie, Clinton

Christie is most notably not on the list of GOP speakers at the Faith and Freedom Conference taking place in Washington, D.C. Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Rand Paul (Ky.) — both potential 2016 presidential candidates — are addressing the conservative gathering, one of the important stops along the way to wooing primary voters ahead of a White House campaign.

ADVERTISEMENT
Neither confab included Christie. Everybody remembers how Christie praised President Obama last fall after his visit to the Garden State, ravaged by Hurricane Sandy, just weeks before his reelection. Conservatives will remember it far longer: Christie is now persona non grata among some donors and activists in the GOP. 

Meanwhile Christie's hanging with the Big Dog instead for a presentation called "Cooperation and Collaboration: A Conversation on Leadership." Clinton is arguably not only the most popular political figure in the United States but one with high approval from Republicans as well as Democrats. Though Clinton campaigned against Christie in 2009 on behalf of former Gov. Jon Corzine (D), he made an effort to reach out to Christie, and they have been friendly ever since.

According to an ABC News story, Clinton and Christie aides described them as similar in upbringing and perspective, and said that both are likable and command a room. Interestingly a Christie source is quoted saying: "This is a stature thing. It burnishes his bipartisan credentials and it shows the governor is a serious guy. He's talking about leadership with Clinton. That's a big deal."  

It's real nice and all, but after Christie most likely gets reelected this fall in a blue state — and most likely by a wide margin — how does he get through the GOP presidential primary as the buddy of Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton? And clearly Hillary Clinton, if running in 2016, would never want to face Christie, now popular with Democrats as well as independents, in the general election. 

Is Clinton playing Christie? Or through the years of a maturing friendship can he talk Christie into leaving the GOP and running as Hillary's VP?

***

CAN IMMIGRATION REFORM PASS THE HOUSE? AskAB returns Tuesday June 18th. Please join my weekly video Q&A by sending your questions and comments to askab@thehill.com. Thank you.