On a rainy Tuesday morning against the maroon backdrop of the statehouse rotunda and with the whole-grain mustard yellow of the NJ State Flag over his left shoulder, Governor Chris Christie playfully defused the build-up he created with a scheduled press announcement to declare his plans—to renovate the statehouse.
“We have code violations throughout the place that could lead to a tragedy,” Christie—in full-fledged government good guy mode—told reporters.
The governor’s announcement came amid multiple reports detailing his difficulty finding a home in the Donald J. Trump administration, as he seeks resolution of a criminal complaint in Bergen concerning his role in the Bridgegate scandal.
“We are going to begin a complete renovation of the statehouse,” said Christie, to no questions from a bait-taking media.
It’s a total $300 million renovation of the statehouse, the governor said. The building will evacuate no later than July and the executive branch of government will be housed in another part of Trenton for the better part of four years, he added.
“I’m hopeful the project will take about four years,” said the governor, caught in the undertow of dismal poll numbers, the lowest of any governor in the country. “I’ll come back maybe as a tourist. For the governors who come after me, they deserve this to be done.’
“The Murphy people have to be so pissed,” a Democratic source groaned, referring to retired Goldman Sachs executive Phil Murphy, the favorite to win the 2017 governorship.
As Christie dug zestfully into the details of his planned renovation, a source told PolitickerNJ that he/she heard the give from the Trump administration will end up being something Christie won’t want so they can say they offered.
The governor gleefully kicked at the slush of stories about him leaving office. “I am telling you that I completing my term,” Christie said. “I want you to all take a deep breath and relax.”