So it took a superstorm to build a bridge over fiercely partisan political waters.

Just days before a national presidential election, and in numerous public interviews, New Jersey’s outspoken Republican governor, Chris Christie, set aside his role as one of Mitt Romney’s strongest surrogates to say what needed to be said: The federal government’s response to the disaster “has been great.”

The Democratic White House has been “wonderful” to work with, he added, and President Obama “has been all over this and deserves great credit.”

Christie revealed Tuesday that the two had spoken over the phone in the middle of the night. They have established a direct line to one another, as well.

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This is a reminder that disaster response demands bipartisan cooperation. Christie and Obama’s resolve to put aside partisan differences in the wake of the disaster speaks well of both men and their commitment to their constituents.

It’s also a refreshing respite from the cheap and mindless rhetoric that has come to define this year’s election season.

The goodwill ought to be sustained as authorities continue to assess the damage in Hurricane Sandy’s wake.

Dozens of people already have lost their lives. But millions of survivors along the East Coast will continue to need assistance — and those who require help are not Republicans or Democrats.

They are all citizens of the United States, and they deserve to know that their leaders have their best interests in mind.

Christie and Obama, together, certainly are demonstrating that American value.