President Obama visited flood-ravaged communities in New Jersey today and vowed that "Washington politics" won't obstruct federal aid for people along the Atlantic Coast, the New Jersey Star-Ledger and the AP report. Dressed in rolled-up shirt sleeves and khaki-style pants, Obama landed in Newark just after noon and boarded a helicopter with Gov. Chris Christie and Senators Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez to tour areas damaged by Hurricane Irene.
Obama's four-hour visit to the Garden State included a stop in Paterson, where the rain-swollen Passaic River had flooded the factory town and forced hundreds to flee. In nearby Wayne, hit hard by flooding from the Pompton River, Obama continued to shake hands and pose for photographs. "You know, it could have been worse," Obama said. "But we should not underestimate the heartache that's going through a lot of these communities, affecting a lot of families." (Read more President Obama stories.)