By Art Gallagher
Prominent New Jersey Republicans seem to finally be moving out of Governor Chris Christie’s shadow.
This afternoon The Star Ledger reported that Monmouth County State Senator Joe Kyrillos was among the 15 or so New Jersey Republicans who met with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, a top rival of Christie’s for the 2016 GOP Presidential nomination, last week at a dinner hosted by Lawrence E. Bathgate. Bathgate, an Ocean County attorney, is one of the top Republican fundraisers in the nation. Also attending the dinner held at the Union Club in Manhattan was Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr, according to The Record’s Charles Stile, who first reported the event.
Such potential defections from the Christie camp were unthinkable just 15 months ago. Christie’s attempt at ousting Kean as Senate Minority Leader immediately following his 2013 re-election, and the resulting fallout as Kean, Jr’s father, the former Governor, went national in criticizing Christie can explain the younger Kean’s flirtation with the Bush campaign.
But Kyrillos being anything other than solidly in Christie’s corner is big news. Their relationship was personal before it was political. Christie introduced Kyrillos to his wife Susan. He swore Christie into his first elected office, Morris County Freeholder. Kyrillos was the Chairman of the Christie for Governor campaign in 2009.Art Gallagher | Filed under: 2016 Presidential Politics, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, Joe Kyrillos, Monmouth County, Tom Kean JR, Tom Kean Sr | Tags: 2016 Presidential politics, Brian Nelson, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, Joe Kyrillos, Larry Bathgate, Lawrence Bathgate, Tom Kean JR | 23 Comments »
NEW BRUNSWICK — Former Gov. Tom Kean will replace Condoleezza Rice as Rutgers University’s commencement speaker, the school announced today. Kean will deliver the address at the May 18 ceremony at High Point Solutions Stadium in Piscataway. Rice,…
admin | Filed under: Rutgers, Tom Kean Sr, Uncategorized | Tags: Condoleeza Rice, Governor Tom Kean, Rutgers | 2 Comments »
TRENTON — In his biggest repudiation of his political protégé yet, former Gov. Tom Kean said he wouldn’t necessarily endorse Gov. Chris Christie’s presidential campaign if there is one. UPDATE: Kean Sr. downplays ‘rift’ with Gov. Chris Christie…
admin | Filed under: 2016 Presidential Politics, Chris Christie, Tom Kean Sr | Tags: Gov Chris Christie, Gov Tom Kean, Ryan Lizza, The New Yorker | Comments Off on Christie can’t count on a Kean endorsement if he runs for president
Former Governor Tom Kean, Sr dealt a body blow to his former protégé today in an interview published by The Washington Post.
“On the one hand, I think he’s got a lot to offer. I think he’s the most able politician since Bill Clinton,” Kean (R) said in an interview with The Washington Post. “On the other hand, you look at these other qualities and ask, do you really want that in your president?”
Kean’s comments come as the current governor is beset by controversy over revelations that officials loyal to Christie engineered closure of part of the George Washington Bridge in September, inconveniencing tens of thousands of state residents in an apparent act of vindictiveness against a local mayor.
There is no evidence that Christie knew of the actions of his subordinates and appointees, some of whom he has since fired. But Kean — who has known Christie since the current governor was a teenager — faulted Christie for establishing a culture in his tight inner circle in which no one “will ever say no to him, and that is dangerous.”
He also said that Christie’s approach to governing is overly aggressive and his agenda is personal.
In a press conference last month, Christie said he had not talked to Kean Sr since the attempt to oust Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr from his leadership post. Kean Sr has characterized Christie’s ill-fated attempt to replace Kean Jr with State Senator Kevin O’Toole as a personal betrayal.
Christie’s got some fence mending to do.Posted: January 11th, 2014 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: 2016 Presidential Politics, Chris Christie, Christie Administration, NJ GOP, Tom Kean JR, Tom Kean Sr | Tags: Bridgegate, Chris Christie, George Washington Bridge, Port Authority of NY/NJ, Tom Kean JR, Tom Kean SR | 9 Comments »