Former New Jersey governor Tom Kean, a close friend of Chris Christie, says the newly reelected governor is seriously considering a presidential run.
“I think he’s looking very hard at it,” Kean says, in an interview with National Review Online. “He’s doing everything that one would do, publicly or privately, to prepare for a presidential campaign, other than announce. The financial people, the Wall Street people, are coming to him; he does not have to go to them. Those people, and all Republicans, are sick of losing and he’s looking like a real winner. I also think he’s pretty enthusiastic about the prospect. He’s got the confidence.”
In the coming year, Kean expects Christie to make several trips to early primary states and to explore strategic options. “He’s obviously going to be looking for money, so he’ll continue to do that, and he’s going to be looking at the states that are important early on,” he says. “I’m sure he’ll visit them and make some speeches.”
For the moment, Kean believes New Hampshire may be at the top of the list for Christie’s political team. “The talk, frankly, around the Christie group is that New Hampshire is our state, but it’s too early to talk about a firewall,” he says. “Chris just won reelection, he’s popular, and there is a sense he would be able to compete everywhere.”
In the meantime, Kean says Christie will take care to pay close attention to his gubernatorial duties, especially as opposition researchers start to flock to Trenton, N.J. “He’s got to be careful,” Kean says. “The spotlight is on him like never before. He has to do what he needs to do there and stay steady.”