Christie vows to be a silent ex-governor. Seriously | Moran

By Tom Moran | Star-Ledger Editorial Board
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on July 21, 2016

CLEVELAND – If you expect Gov. Chris Christie to take a gig on Fox News or talk radio after he steps down as governor, it's time to think again.

In an unusually personal two-hour talk to the state GOP delegation Thursday morning, Christie said his model is George W. Bush, who has barely made a peep in public since leaving the White House.

"The clock is running on my time as governor," Christie said. "I've had 15 extraordinary years of leadership in this state. And if people want my opinion on things I'll be happy to give them privately.

"But my role model for how I'm going to conduct myself after I leave office is President Bush 43, who despite unrelenting attacks by the president and his allies...has never risen to the bait. He's conducted himself with honor and dignity."

I'm not sure I believe it.

Christie is certain to face withering criticism over his legacy of ruin, from the collapsing bridges to the raging fiscal crisis.

It's hard to believe he won't punch back. It's not in his nature.

And if Donald Trump wins, and rewards Christie for selling his soul, then Christie will remain in the public eye.

But the governor sounded sincere. And his comments were laced with so much bile that they seemed heartfelt.

He started this spiel with a withering criticism of an unnamed former Republican governor, of which there are only two – Tom Kean and Christie Whitman.

"I'm not going to be the guy sitting by the phone waiting for the phone to ring so I can give some quote to some reporters so I can keep my name in the news," Christie said. "I'm not going to be the guy who continues to play three-dimensional chess by using the media to insult other Republicans. I'm not going to be the guy who forgets I'm no longer governor."

My guess is the dart was aimed at Kean, who has refused to endorse Trump and is skipping a GOP convention for the first time in a half century.

Sure, Whitman has compared Trump to Adolf Hitler and vowed to never support him. But Christie never had the emotional ties to Whitman that might spark such anger.

Kean, who remains immensely popular, has thrown a few artful darts at Christie over the years. After his big win in 2013, Kean noted that Christie's coattails carried zero new Republican legislators with him. In 2014, he criticized Christie's bullying, saying he "makes you feel that your life's going to be very unhappy if you don't do what he says."

And this year, he publicly advised Trump not to pick Christie as his vice-president. 

Plus, Kean is the only former GOP governor who qualifies as a "guy."

Christie seemed even more sincere when he described the media as a bunch of cynical worms that should be ignored.

"The American people...don't care about all these commentators who have a new opinion every day," he said. "Those people are barking into the wind and make little or no difference, except to be able to vent their own spleens with their own anger, and their own frustration."

Ok, then. He doesn't sound like a guy who is eager to join our ranks, even at Fox.

My guess is that Trump will lose, Christie will serve out his term, and then he'll retire and make money.

But who knows? Christie might be lying about all this. And I might be barking into the wind.

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