A couple of pullout quotes from a couple of illuminating interviews with former Gov. Tom Kean by Charles Stile of The Record and Matt Friedman at the Ledger – a rare one-two punch from competing newspapers.
First from Friedman’s:
“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.”
Uh, yeah, I’m thinking Christie doesn’t much care about the no-coattails thing, Governor. Christie’s political rise has always been about Christie, and less about bringing along fellow Republicans who might share his worldview of how things should be run. GOP donors considering 2016, take note.
Kean Sr. seems pretty pissed in chats with both reporters, though he’s too much of a gentleman (or so I suppose) to suggest his disaffection is permanent against his political protege who first came to him as a fresh-scrubbed 14-year-old. I should add, he’d probably not choose my word, “pissed”. Though I imagine even gentlemen get that way when they realize NJ politics has devolved to the point where your political son actually tries to take out your actual son. Had Christie’s failed move against Kean Jr. succeeded, Stile suggests, it might have ended Junior’s political career.
Christie’s skulduggery against his own party’s legislative leader was almost certainly political payback on behalf of his political ally, Steve Sweeney. It was Junior who financed the GOP effort to take Sweeney out November 5th, recruiting attorney Niki Trunk to run against him. I’ve had my issues with Sweeney’s leadership – he’s made some good moves and some awful ones – but I’m glad he beat Trunk, and by a healthy margin.
But just the same way it’s doubtful Christie cares about his lack of coattails, I doubt he’s losing sleep over the disappointment Gov. Kean now feels for him. But this quote, from Stile’s piece shows Christie’s self-serving schtick is getting old for even the most loyal in Christie’s circle:
“He’ll have a microscope on him and we’ll find out … if he’s qualified,” he told The Record.
Ouch. But yeah. Bring on the microscope.