Obama’s Caller ID: ‘Unknown’ — Christie’s 12 Million Gallons of Gas

Photograph by Emile Wamsteker/Bloomberg

Pedestrians fill gas cans at a Sunoco Inc. station in Bloomfield, New Jersey, days after Hurricane Sandy.

Here’s hoping that we’re not revealing a sensitive national-security matter, but New Jersey Governor Chris Christie put it out there, so what the heck.

When the president of the United States phones, Caller ID flashes not a name or number, but rather “Unknown.”

Christie, 50, a Republican seeking a second term, knows this because after Hurricane Sandy struck on Oct. 29., he spoke daily with President Barack Obama, a Democrat whom Christie praised for his leadership during the most devastating Atlantic storm in history.

The gasoline supply was an immediate crisis, Christie said today during a speech at the New Jersey Hospital Association in Princeton. He called Obama, who had given his number and told him to call any time.

“I said, ‘I need gas.’ He said, ‘OK. How much do you need?'” Christie said. “So at this point, I did what any person who has no idea what they’re talking about does when asked a question like that over a cell phone by the president of the United States. I was standing in front of my Cabinet, who knew I was on a phone with the president, and I said, ‘Uh, uh, sorry sir. You’re breaking up. Did you ask how much gas I need?’ Desperately looking at someone in my Cabinet to give me some answer.”

Bob Martin, commissioner of environmental protection, whispered, “12 million gallons,” Christie said.

“I said, ‘Mr. President, we’ve looked at the problem and we think we need 12 million gallons.”

Obama said he would call Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and get back to the governor.

A few moments later, “Unknown” was on the line.

That gas would be on the way.

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