NJ Politics Digest: Another White House Opening, Another Chance for Christie

President Donald Trump and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie

President Donald Trump and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie Drew Angerer/Getty Images

It’s been a case of always a bridesmaid, never a bride for former N.J. Gov. Chris Christie since Donald Trump was elected president.

The former governor was one of the first high-profile Republicans to endorse Trump’s presidential bid, and Christie served a head of Trump’s transition team until being dumped once the president took office.

And while Christie has been named as a possible candidate for several high-profile administration posts only to be later passed over, there may yet be another chance for him to land a place on President Trump’s ever-changing staff.

Christie is said to be among those on the shortlist to replace departing White House Chief of Staff John Kelly. Others rumored to be in the running include Republican Rep. Mark Meadows, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney and U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer, according to reports on CNN.

The chief of staff is one of the most powerful positions in Washington and does not require Senate confirmation. Christie was widely known to covet the post of Attorney General, but that would require confirmation, and questions would surely have arisen over the former governor’s role in the Bridgegate scandal that has two of his top aides facing federal prison sentences and a third cooperating as a prosecution witness. Christie has denied any involvement in the scheme that used government power for petty political payback, but the specter of the scandal would be sure to play highly in any confirmation fight.

Christie, who left office as one of the least-popular governors in New Jersey history, now has a private law practice and a gig as a political commentator on ABC TV.

Quote of the Day: “We now have leverage in the House of Representatives—through Democratic control—to give ourselves the upper hand in that negotiation,” — Democratic Rep.-elect Tom Malinowski, on negotiating with President Donald Trump for funding for the Gateway Tunnel project.

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NJ Politics Digest: Another White House Opening, Another Chance for Christie