Kean-Christie Wounds Are Festering

While Trenton Democrats are planning their aggressive “lame -duck” agenda with an eye on making Governor Chris Christie’s 2016 prospects more difficult, New Jersey’s two most popular Republicans, Christie and former Governor Tom Kean, are letting hurt feelings over the attempted ouster of Tom Kean, JR as Senate Minority Leader dominate the news on the Republican side of the aisle.

In case you missed it or didn’t care, on the heels of his landslide reelection with no coattails, Christie made it known that he wanted Senator Kevin O’Toole to replace Kean, JR as the Republican leader in the upper house of the legislature.  Junior got wind of the coup attempt and rallied the majority of the caucus to stick with him.  The day after the election, Christie publicly expressed his commitment to continue working with Democratic Senate President Steve Sweeney and declined to comment on who the leader of the Republican minority in the Senate should be.  Junior released a letter signed by 11 of the 16 Republican Senators that expressed their support of him.  The following morning, prior to the Republican caucus meeting to elect their leader, Christie summoned Junior and Republican Senators to his Statehouse office, in view of the press corps, to lobby for O’Toole taking over the minority leadership.

Junior fought back and 9 other Republican Senators stuck with him, giving him a 10-6 victory over O’Toole and giving Christie the first act of defiance from Republicans in four years.

Why did Christie want to oust Junior?  He’s not saying.  Speculation centers on two reasons; 1) Christie was doing Sweeney’s bidding in the Senate President’s ongoing feud with Junior for having the gall to try and win his seat in the Senate and 2) Christie wanted Junior to take the fall for Republicans not picking up any seats in the legislature.

After Junior retained his leadership post, he and O’Toole emerged together from the caucus meeting and put on happy faces to the press, pledging unity and to get to work on the people’s business.  That should have been the end of it.

But then Kean, SR started talking to reporters, expressing his frustration and disappointment with his mentee, Christie.  Kean SR’s comments were “tinged with bitterness” toward Christie, The Record’s Charles Stile wrote on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Kean, SR kept his disappointment with Christie in the news by granting an interview to The Star Ledger’s Matt Friedman wherein he placed the blame for the Democrats retaining the legislature squarely with the Governor.

“You assume that if the governor wins by 20 points or more you’d have coattails,” Kean said. “No governor I know in any state has won by 20 points and not had coattails.”

By Friday, the Kean-Christie story had seemed to blow over. But it had not.

Yesterday, The Associated Press’s Angela Delli Santi posted a story quoting Kean SR as being “as surprised as I’ve ever been in my life in politics,” and how disappointed he is that Christie has yet to call him or Junior, to mend fences.

None of this reflects well on Christie, the Keans or the NJ GOP.

And none of it will help Republicans, Christie and members of the legislature, continue to “turn Trenton upside down.”


Posted: November 17th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2013 Election, 2016 Presidential Politics, NJ SAFE Task Force | Tags: , , , , | 10 Comments »

10 Comments on “Kean-Christie Wounds Are Festering”

  1. Kean-Christie Wounds Are Festering | The Save Jersey Blog said at 11:32 am on November 17th, 2013:

    […] By Art Gallagher | MoreMonmouthMusings.com […]

  2. Truth hurts, said at 11:40 am on November 17th, 2013:

    and can be very uncomfortable, so, blame gets thrown to save face: sorry, for those who weren’t around, Kean,Sr., still one of our more beloved governors, for good reasons, is exactly right- history will evolve to show how many compromises were likely made, to create the big new media darling from Blue Jersey: take dome time and really LOOK at the pieces of crap legislation these clowns are pushing on us.. we are just a microcosm of the craziness and lib demise being cobbled in DC,every day- no matter what the party line is.. have believed from the start, that the NJ Dems are only “cooperating, working together, reaching across the aisle”, all those pat, garbage phrases, to help get the big guy get off the Trenton stage, ASAP, so that Boss Sweeney and the unions can complete their total control over every aspect of NJ life.. And, as usual, egos and personal agendas continue to undermine the ability of any GOP minority, to stand together,and get anything substantial accomplished, for any length of time,here.. as a former Kean, Sr. volunteer and, employee, the differences in: tone, teamwork, an impressive ability to keep the party together statewide, remember their hardest workers, reward and promote same, and bring the state into a much better image and condition, are huge- feel sorry for what the newbies have to settle for today, in a small blip of a couple of wins- sorry, gang, they are short- lived, and the various personal ambitions are soon to send this place right back to solid Dem, lib control..

  3. Knight said at 12:10 pm on November 17th, 2013:

    The more I read about Christie’s dark side, his huge ego and his “all about me” attitude, the more I don’t like him, personally. I recently read about his Morris County political roots and his problems with the county republican party there. I’m already scratching my head with the way he threw Romney under the bus. Now he picks a fight with the Kean family. Is he a republican or a democrat? Maybe he thinks he’s Teddy Roosevelt reincarnated.

  4. Bob English said at 12:28 pm on November 17th, 2013:

    Art..Was just wondering if you know if the Governor (Christie) contacted Governor Kean when he decided to try to oust Kean Jr?

    Christie had the right to support whomever he choose but at the same time because of his pre-existing releationship with Gov. Kean, the right thing to do would be to have given him a heads up prior.

  5. Art Gallagher said at 12:41 pm on November 17th, 2013:

    I don’t know, Bob. PolitickerNJ reported that Christie called Kean Sr before moving against Junior. Kean Sr was quoted by The Star Ledger as saying that Christie didn’t call him.

  6. Christie tried to be Democrat said at 11:48 pm on November 17th, 2013:

    Christie offered to run for State Senate as a Democrat in 1995 against incumbent Republican John Dorsey. Dems rejected Christie in favor of Gordon MacInnes, who won the seat that year.

  7. Mike Harmon said at 11:10 am on November 18th, 2013:

    So Christie can win over Obama, Sweeney, Booker, Springsteen, John Stewart, the APP, MSNBC, Morning Joe, the Star Ledger and all of our hearts (not minds) , yet somehow he has a problem with Kean, the younger.

    Is it true the Gov dislikes Kean more than the Rs in the House?

    Hopefully, the Gov will focus on Sandy restoration, the 800,000 who have lost their healthcare insurance (including my family), the structural budget deficit which is destroying the future of NJ and the tax structure which is costing us jobs as we watch our young people with college degrees and those with pensions flee the state.

  8. MoreMonmouthMusings » Blog Archive » Republican Legislators Unlikely To Override Christie said at 12:52 pm on November 18th, 2013:

    […] Jersey’s political junkies on are Trenton this afternoon to see if the public rift between Governor Chris Christie and the Kean family will lead to the first override of a Christie […]

  9. GOP Unlikely to Help Override Christie Pig Gestation Veto | The Save Jersey Blog said at 1:31 pm on November 18th, 2013:

    […] By Art Gallagher | MoreMonmouthMusings.com […]

  10. Cheesesteak said at 10:52 am on November 19th, 2013:

    Christie was doing Sweeney’s bidding. Bingo. Ask yourselves, why did Chrstie punt on investigating George Norcross when he was US attorney??? Was it really because the AG Peter Harvey screwed it up? Or even then did Christie feel that he had to play ball with Norcross & not pis him off?