It’s been reported that President Trump is considering replacing Chief of Staff John Kelly who will depart the White House at the end of the year with former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Trump and Christie met in Washington on Thursday reportedly to discuss the job. Trump called Christie a “top contender”. Others being considered include David N. Bossie the President’s former Deupty Campaign Manager, White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum and Blackstone executive Wayne Berman.
Despite the long friendship between President Trump and former Governor Christie it’s not clear if Christie will be offered the position or even wants a position in Trump’s administration. There have been reports of a feud between Christie and Jared Kushner, a senior Trump adviser and the President’s son-in-law due to Christie prosecuting Kushner’s father in 2004 when Christie was U.S. Attorney for New Jersey. Last year NJ Advance Media reported that Trump had offered Christie at least three positions in his new administration, Homeland Security Secretary, Veterans Affairs Secretary and U.S. Ambassador to Italy and Christie turned the President down.
Christie was one of 17 candidates who ran in the Republican primary for President against Trump but dropped out of the race after the New Hampshire primary. After dropping out of the race Christie endorsed Trump and later ran Trump’s transition team for a short time.
While Christie left office with a 15% approval rating, the lowest of any prior New Jersey Governor his low rating can be attributed to Bridgegate and New Jerseyans concerned that he was more focused on national politics than his job as New Jersey’s Governor. It’s not because of what he’s done” Patrick Murray of Monmouth University Polling Institute said said in 2017 “People think he’s turned his back on New Jersey and used New Jersey as a pawn to further his political ambition, that’s what people are ticked off about” When Christie began his second term as Governor in 2014 his approval rating was 70%.
Christie’s tough no-nonsense style also lost him support in New Jersey. His battles with public sector unions over concessions for the good of the people of New Jersey lost him the support of teachers and union members. Ultimately Christie focused on the people of New Jersey not his approval ratings and popularity. For me that’s one of the things that made him a great Governor.
Here in New Jersey Chris Christie not only got himself elected Governor twice in a solidly blue state but made significant change to improve New Jersey’s economy and the lives of New Jerseyans. With a Democratically controlled legislature Christie was able to keep state spending below the rate of inflation, decrease the size of government in New Jersey, championed reform of the state’s pension system and enacted property tax reform in the state with one of the highest property tax rates in the nation. In the later years of Christie’s administration he made drug addition and treatment his focus enacting sweeping reforms to emphasize treatment. Of course no one in New Jersey will forget Governor Christie’s swift action and level head in the days after Hurricane Sandy or working with President Obama to bring much needed aid to New Jersey (although Menendez tried to take credit leading up to the mid-term election).
Christie proved he possess the ability to put politics aside and work closely with Democrats to do what was best for the residents he swore to serve. One only has to look at Christie’s relationship with NJ State Senate President Steve Sweeney. Christie and Sweeney worked together for the people of New Jersey and appeared to have a much stronger relationship then Sweeney has with current Governor Murphy.
As a Federal Prosecutor Christie was tough on crime and terror. In his seven years as a U.S. Attorney Christie restructured the U.S. Attorney’s office to focus resources on anti-terrorism cases, created a terrorism unit within the U.S. Attorney’s office, spearheaded several terror related investigations and prosecuted multiple 9/11 terror cases.
I believe that Christie having a role in President Trump’s administration is long overdue. Given Christie’s successful track record as a Federal Prosecutor I believe that President Trump should have appointed Christie Attorney General of the United States. Now that the Chief of Staff position is opening up I believe that Christie has proven himself to be well qualified for the job. Christie is an effective no nonsense leader who has shown he will do right by the people he is charged with serving.
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