Does New Jersey Want to be “Stuck” With Christie?


I suspect you’ve already heard that New Jersey governor Chris Christie announced that he is not running for president at a Tuesday afternoon press conference in the gritty state capital, Trenton (pictured in the photo above). If this sounds like old news, it is. Calls for Christie to step into the race for the GOP presidential nomination have been rising since mid-August, when Governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota dropped out. After Texas Governor Rick Perry’s less than sterling performance at the September 22nd debate, Christie was roundly hailed as the seemingly ideal candidate, if he would only be a candidate.

But ever since there was talk of Christie running, the former US Attorney for New Jersey and first-term governor has been insisting that he will not. At one point, he proclaimed “what do I have to do to convince you that I’m not running for president, commit suicide?” Christie has won adoring praise from his supporters for similar trademark brusque quips though I’ve found that particular remark eerie. While one can conceive of how Christie might have become weary of fending off calls to run (while not minding the ego-stroking attention), it seems a bit excessive to threaten that he would “take himself out” in order to finally convince everyone that he is not running.

Even though he has stood up those ardent suitors, Christie has still been winning praise for saying that “Now is not my time.” His work as governor of New Jersey is indeed far from done. Just blocks from the state capital in Trenton where Christie told us once again he won’t run, the New York Times’s Mike Powell describes the hard realities of living in a state where unemployment is higher than it was a year ago and private-sector jobs are shrinking:

In Trenton on Friday, I stepped out of a State House hot with presidential fever, crossed State Street and walked a block north. A gentleman offered to sell me a nickel bag of pot. I apologized that the timing was all wrong, and continued down a tenement block to Calhoun Street….

Trenton’s mayor, Tony Mack, recently let go one-third of his police force. He knows this is demented public policy, but state aid cuts have left him with a $27 million hole in his budget.

Mr. Mack occupies a City Hall where the white marble is stained green and crumbling. Weeds are conducting hostile takeovers of flower beds. “It’s a pretty dismal picture right now,” he said.

Trenton’s violent crime rate is three times that of New York City’s but New Jersey has, per capita, a third fewer police officers. According to Mack, while there has been “dialogue,” there hasn’t been any added revenue to the situation — just last week, a popular restaurant was shot up and someone else fired a semiautomatic pistol into parked cars, with the police collecting 61 bullet shells.

camden tire fire engine

Photo of a tire fire in Camden by lisa see

Crime, violence, struggling schools, poverty have long plagued New Jersey’s cities and continue to. But the mayors of Camden (in southern New Jersey) and of Newark (whose train station is home to people who have no other place to go) have been silent about state cuts. “County political warlords” still hold sway and, as Powell indicates and others make even more clear, Christie is as much a product and a practitioner of a certain “bruising brand” of machine politics as his US Attorney’s office once tried to have Democratic Senator Robert Menendez investigated for.

The reasons Christie isn’t running remain the same as they have since his name was first bandied about: Christie’s seven years in the US Attorney’s office were not without scandal and accusations of “crony capitalism, big spending, and using his government title to get himself out of legal trouble,” not to mention some other baggage (not that kind).

“New Jersey, whether you like it or not, you’re stuck with me,” Christie said in the corridors of the state capital in Trenton on Tuesday. I’m not sure if he was aware of this, but his words echo an advertising campaign under a previous governor, Tom Kean, meant to promote tourism: “New Jersey and You: Perfect Together.” Given the gloomy employment and economic figures and the woeful state of its cities, let’s see how Christie, fresh off the I’m-not-really-a-candidate-trail, deals with all the unfinished business here back home in Jersey.



Photo of Trenton taken by Eva and Rodney Hargis

Related Care2 Coverage

So Who’s In Line For Vice President?

Christie Is Overweight: Does It Matter?

Christie Not Running For President — For Real This Time

Majority of New Jerseyans Favor Same-Sex Marriage

Photo of Trenton taken by Eva and Rodney Hargis


Sylvia M.
Sylvia M6 years ago

My friend and her family live in New Jersey. She's been educating me a bit on Governor Christie (trust me, not that I'm that interested) and let me just say, she does not have
a single nice thing to say about him, based on her experiences as a homeowner and citizen of the state living under Christie. She was happy he decided not to run-said she would hate
the rest of the country to have to suffer under him. Of course, many Texans say the same thing about Perry.

Gloria Morotti
Gloria Morotti6 years ago


Lynn C.
Lynn C6 years ago


Elizabeth K.
Elizabeth K6 years ago

Still stomping your little feet and whining?

You admit that you did not read Dominic's post, then want us to read all that dribble you post?

The real reason you are not responding to Dominic, is that you can't.

Avoidance, distractions, excess verbage; anything to pretend you are actually saying something.

And talk about redistributing wealth, the Koch brothers pay people to post the same stuff you do. If you're not being paid, then you're doing for free what others are being paid for. Better look into that.

Diane O.
Diane O6 years ago

continued..."it comes down to personal choices in our country." Education is there for anyone who is willing to go there. But that takes focus and determination....either you have it or you don't. If you don't have it....then you own it.

Diane O.
Diane O6 years ago

The liberals on Care 2 are in desperation mode....they read the polls...the majority of Americans who are "done" with Obama....after all, he has accomplished nothing even with an all democratic congress for two solid years. You are in the minority with your adoration of a community "agitator" who did nothing more than agitate the black community telling them how oppressed they are...firing them up...and once he was elected there were cries of "Oh, how wonderful...Obama will take care of my mortgage payment." He not only mislead his own community but he made fools of them and they should be very angry with him for exploiting them. We have, in our country, some of the most intelligent and well educated black people in the world who were given opportunities and they ran with it....and we should all be proud of them for their personal choices. As we look in every phase of our government, we see people from all over the world who have become American citizens who want to make our country a great country. They are raising children to be well educated so that they can chart a successful life for themselves and their families....that is who we are...we are America. For those of you who want to exaggerate how underpaid you are and how the government isn't giving you enough to live on....look to our immigrants those who came to America completing the necessary paperwork and look at how well educated their children always comes down to personal choices in our count

Diane O.
Diane O6 years ago

ElizabethK, your comments are lame at best. I often wonder just how old you are based on your comments and your lust for hating someone you don't even know. 12? Okay, I'll go 13 years old....keep up with us if you can and please weigh in on why Obama snubbed our small businesses for two full years while he spent one entire year on his legacy...yes, bill that is being shot down by our states as unconstitutional....none of you have the answer to that question....none of you. And, therein lies the path to where we are today.

You folks backed a collosal loser....a community organizer...and you voted for him for all the wrong reasons. You thought you would elect a socialist leaning man who would bring sharing the wealth to a republic....a country who defies socialism and communisim and was built on capitalism. You backed the wrong horse the wrong man and now you sit back and launch personal attacks at those of us who defend our Constitution. Are you Americans? You can't be if you believe in redistributive wealth.

Diane O.
Diane O6 years ago

Dominic...I only read your first two sentences knowing full well the rest would be unintelligable. You need only to ask yourself one question: Why didn't President Obama early in 2009 turn his back on the small businesses? Ask yourself that question and see if you can deliver a coherent answer....had Obama done would have delivered a great deal of confidence to our country and would've saved jobs for middle and lower middle class Americans. Until one of you liberals can answer that question with some degree of intellect nothing else matters that you say. Obama had a perfect opportunity to save our country....right then....right there....and he turned his back on the middle and lower middle class Americans who comprise 53% of Americans who work for small businesses.

None of you have had the courage to even attempt answering that question. And, I know why. Because you would then have to admit that HE is the one who has kept the high unemployment where it is today.

Spare me your comments, please. Until you can answer that have nothing of any relevance to say.

Dominic C.
Dominic C6 years ago

Diane O,

You are just another desperate party pooper! GOP and all and Cain is great. Well, Cain is a disaster for foreign policies and he has virtually no knowledge when it comes to government. He is virtually a businessman like Trump and only worries about the big size corporations the fat cats want to absolve monies from poor and the middle class. Do you think Cain will be sensible enough to advocate and rally his way around in Congress and the Senate? If Obama is facing such tremendous pressure from the GOP do you think Cain will not face the same pressures from his party candidates as well from the Democrats as well?
There is no one as capable as Obama now in the White House when it comes to foreign policies - the reason which America has dug a huge hole by GW when he sent Americans on a wild goose chase about WMDs in Iraq. Three trillion! And no American Administration had dug deeper than that.So if you want to talk about domestic issues why not start with the Republicans and the GOP and why they dug three trillion for us all to embrace today and yet they stuck to same old imbecilic policies and not looking out of the box? Yeah right!

kenny s.
Kenny Stidham6 years ago

Not running? Good. Call Jenny Craig. Loser.