Why Christie will never serve in Trump’s White House
TRENTON — Timing has not been kind to Chris Christie when it comes to the White House.
Usurped by Donald Trump in a bruising Republican primary for president, passed over for Trump’s vice president, then dumped by Trump as the head of his transition and later passed over for Attorney General, Christie just can’t seem to make it into the West Wing.
Still, Christie’s name is always on a short list of possible Trump choices every time a job opens up at the White House. He was rumored to be in the running for AG, again, before the president chose William Barr for the job. Now, reports have Christie on the short list to be Trump’s next Chief of Staff.
It’s not going to happen. And after next month, sources tell me Christie won’t be talked about for any jobs in the Trump Administration again.
Why? His new book is due for release at the end of January, and it will not likely paint a favorable picture of his longtime friend Donald Trump.
This is the book Christie wanted to write while he was still in office and the nation was still in shock from Trump's upset win over Hillary Clinton. State ethics rules barred him from profiting on a book while still governor. Christie almost had a deal with lawmakers to change those ethics rules in exchange for giving raises to government officials, but our Bill Spadea exposed that plan, and ultimately the deal fell apart.
After he left office, Christie needed to dish the dirt on Trump and his associates to sell the book to a publisher and, by most accounts, he does. The book is titled "Let Me Finish: Trump, the Kushners, Bannon, New Jersey, and the Power of In-Your-Face Politics." That doesn’t sound like something the president will enjoy reading.
Publisher Hachette says the book will offer "revealing, candid, and surprising insights into the public and private Trump, drawn from 15 years of close friendship." Trump values loyalty over everything and reacts harshly to those who he believes has disrespected him.
While Christie loves the attention of being on any Trump short list, he has privately come to terms with not serving in the West Wing. As an ABC News contributor, Christie continues to defend the president, and likely will continue to do so after his book comes out, but is resigned to remaining on the periphery.
On many levels, he is OK with that. Other than his book and work on ABC News, Christie makes a decent amount of money as a speaker, continues his work battling the national opioid crisis, and is enjoying practicing law again.
During his last "Ask the Governor" appearance in November 2017, Christie told me he was looking forward to a slower pace, and joked he needed to make some money. Financially, he is doing better than most, he sets his own hours, gets to spend more time with his kids, and has managed to remain in the public eye enough to feed his ego. It’s unlikely he would want to give that up for the 24/7 demands of running Trump’s White House.
Not that he will be asked.
Eric Scott is Vice President, Senior Political Director and Director of Special Projects for New Jersey 101.5. He anchors "New Jersey's First News" and weekday morning newscasts from 5 to 10 a.m., in addition to hosting a monthly Town Hall series.
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