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Gov. Christie: No to NGA Vice Chair, yes to Vice Presidency?

christie_optBY GINA G. SCALA
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

Is there anything more to Gov. Chris Christie declining the vice chairman post of the National Governors Association than just time constraints?

Christie’s name has been batted around for months as a possible running mate for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. With former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice renouncing any interest in the number two position, is Christie still a contender?

He has said he’d consider if asked by Romney. While the former Massachusetts governor should pick Christie, he is unwilling to make the choice, Jeffery Goldberg wrote in a column for the Star Tribune.

Perhaps, Romney is jealous Christie has a personality and a certain appeal with voters.

“Straight talk is refreshing," said Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, chairman of the Republican Governors Association of which Christie is vice chair. "And because in a deep-blue state he has advocated tough reforms that have been embraced even by Democrats — pension reform, education reform — because good ideas are successful regardless of whether it’s Democrats or Republicans putting them in place. Good ideas get recognized and enacted. I think that’s probably it. And he’s just, he’s a lot of fun. He’s funny, but he’s serious as well."

While not all governors appreciate Christie’s authentic style, he is said to have a good relationship with Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, a Democrat and incoming National Governors Association chairman.

"What I respect is the fact that he is true to himself, and he is very comfortable in his own skin," Markell said of Christie, who graduated from the University of Delaware. "I think that is something voters everywhere can respond to."

Christie was slated to be Markell’s second in command for months, declining only this weekend at the annual meeting in Williamsburg, VA. He claimed time constraints, including a planned re-election bid for 2013 as New Jersey’s top executive, according to several governors who attended the meeting.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) was elected vice chairwoman Sunday morning after Christie asked her to take the post. Fallin will become the chairwoman next year under the NGA’s bylaws which include a planned annual bipartisan rotation.

"He is in an election year. Governor Christie called me and asked if I would move into the vice chairman's slot," Fallin told HuffPost Sunday. "He will wait for a better time. He is a great leader of the NGA. I was pleased that he offered me the opportunity and he said that there were other things he wanted to take care of in his state."

 

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