Former New Jersey governor Tom Kean, who has known Chris Christie since he was a teenager and remains an informal adviser, tells National Review Online that the governor is “very seriously” considering a presidential bid.
“It’s real,” Kean says. “He’s giving it a lot of thought. I think the odds are a lot better now than they were a couple weeks ago.”
Christie remains undecided, Kean says, but is listening closely to pleas from party leaders. The chance for a “Jersey guy” to rise, Kean says, is not something Christie has sought. But now, with the field up for grabs, he is actively mulling a late entry.
“More and more people are talking to him,” Kean says. “He’s getting appeals from major figures around the country.” Kean, for his part, is also encouraging the first-term Republican to jump in. “He is the best speaker I may have ever heard in politics,” he tells me.
“In an era when most people suspect that politicians read polls and then tell you what they think, people don’t believe he’s that kind of a fellow,” Kean says. “He tells you what he thinks, period. We like that around here.”
“A lot of people are not satisfied with the field,” Kean says. “I know he’s getting advice from all sides.” In coming days, “he’s not going to tease anybody.” If circumstances do change — and Kean makes no predictions — “he’s not going to hide it.”