New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie‘s (R) popularity on the right has taken a few hits of late. But for whatever it’s worth, the New York Times has a new appreciation for him.

NYT praises Christie in an editorial today for publicly approving of the Obama administration’s handling of the disaster relief following Hurricane Sandy.

It wasn’t just the praise for the president, though, that seemed to bother Mr. Romney’s supporters. For years, the party’s loudest activists have tried to delegitimize Mr. Obama, questioning his birthplace and his patriotism, even calling him a socialist and saying outright that he was in over his head. …

Apparently party leaders and donors really expected Mr. Christie to refuse to meet the president at a time when his state was suffering. They wanted him to reflect their own pettiness — so obvious in the last four years — and shun the hand dispensing federal aid.

We have previously been critical of some of Mr. Christie’s shortsighted actions as governor, but it was hard not to admire him for standing up to his party’s worst elements and putting his state first.