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Pundits Praise Christie's Hands-On Irene Response, Call Cuomo 'Very Distant'

NEW YORK (CBS 2) --  Hurricane Irene's impact in New York and New Jersey revealed a tale of two governors. Both Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie each answered the storm's call in their own distinctive ways.

If a picture was worth a thousand words, the images of New Jersey Governor Christie hugging, holding and consoling flooded-out Wayne homeowners, including Valerie Meter, are worth a whole lot more.

"I'm here because I got to see stuff like this for myself," Christie said on Tuesday.

Christie had a hands-on approach to Hurricane Irene -- he was all over the state cajoling and listening to constituents. He also empathized with residents while talking of his own loss of property during Hurricane Floyd, CBS 2's Marcia Kramer reported.

"We lost everything we owned, so I understand the emotional feeling. Watching my wife sit in that warehouse and literally watch the pictures of our children disintegrate from the acrid flood water," Christie said.

In contrast, New York Governor Cuomo's approach was much more managerial. Cuomo toured flood zones by helicopter and did briefings in his Albany office.

It wasn't until Wednesday -- three days after Hurricane Irene left the area -- that there were the first pictures of Cuomo not in a cocoon of aides actually getting up close and personal with storm victims.

Many are now saying that based on their actions, Christie became the face of the storm in the Tri-State Area.

Political consultant Hank Sheinkopf said that in many ways, Christie has "become the new regional governor."

"Chris Christie is all over the place. He's touching, he's talking, he's screaming, he's yelling -- taking on government. Andrew Cuomo, he's very distant. Chris Christie's the guy people are paying attention to," Sheinkopf said.

The 2016 Presidential race is still way far away, but pundits say, this tale of two governors could have repercussions.

Who do you think did the better job during the storm -- Cuomo or Christie?  Share your thoughts in the comment section...

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