Dogged by growing outrage over his showdown with state workers over pensions, facing trouble at home over his sharp attacks on public schools and still awaiting the result of several investigations into the scandal web involving Bridgegate, corruption at the Port Authority and politicization of recovery aid from Superstorm Sandy since 2012, New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie is still busily plotting a course for 2016—and an argument can be made that he’s still the front-runner in a crowded and chaotic field. And it appears his chief focus is on New Hampshire, the first-in-the-nation primary, whose flinty, conservative but independent-minded Republican voters might be Christie’s best shot at getting out in front of his less-than-impressive rivals as the primary season gets underway in January 2016.
According to NH Journal, a New Hampshire political report—and also reported by the Star-Ledger, via the right-wing Save Jersey blog—yet a third Christie aide is making his way to the Granite State, leaving his New Jersey post to become what amounts to an advance guard for the governor, who’s been making frequent stops in New Hampshire himself. Says NH Journal:
Another Chris Christie “Jersey Boy” is headed to first-in-the-nation New Hampshire. Peter Sheridan will leave his post as deputy executive director of the New Jersey Republican Party to become the deputy campaign manager for New Hampshire Republican candidate for governor Walt Havenstein.
Sheridan, the third Christie-linked GOP operative in New Hampshire, follows Matt Mowers, who took over as leader of the New Hampshire GOP last year and, as Christie Watch reported in March, was tangentially involved in Bridgegate; and Colin Reed, a former Christie public relations aide who’s serving as campaign manager for carpetbagger Scott Brown’s US Senate campaign there. As NH Journal says, Christie is “laying the groundwork for a leadoff primary state campaign after the mid-terms are history.”
Meanwhile, Christie’s office has just announced that he’ll be making a showboating visit to Mexico in early September, supposedly to promote increased trade, economic growth, job creation and higher education in both New Jersey and Mexico,” but actually to begin to develop the rudiments of a foreign policy for his 2016 campaign—beyond, that is, kowtowing to Sheldon Adelson by supporting Israel. Even more importantly, perhaps, Christie wants to tout his supposed appeal to Hispanic-American voters, As the Asbury Park Press’s Capitol Quickies blog notes:
During his 2013 re-election campaign, Christie used Spanish-language commercials to reach Latino voters. Exit polls conducted by Edison Research showed the effort paid off with polls showing that 51 percent of Latinos voted for the governor.