November 7th, 2013
09:37 AM ET

Where Does Christie Go Next?

What do you do for an encore after a landslide re-election victory? How about taking your show on the road.

And that's just what New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will do later this month, as he takes over as chairman of the Republican Governors Association, giving an already very visible governor with national aspirations even more visibility.

The high-profile position should also enhance Christie's status as a leader of the GOP, CNN's Deborah Feyerick reports.

With three-dozen states electing governors in 2014, Christie will be crisscrossing the country, supporting some of the party's brightest stars. But he'll also be introducing himself to those who know only the larger-than-life figure on TV.

"I'm going to be traveling all over the country trying to elect Republican governors and that's a pretty good thing to do for the Republican Party," Christie said Tuesday in an interview with CNN anchor and Chief Washington Correspondent Jake Tapper.

The states that kick off the presidential primary and caucus calendar - Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida and Nevada - are among those holding elections next year. That itinerary works out well for someone who's got an eye on the White House.

"The chairmanship of the RGA allows a governor to run for president before he actually runs for president, building relationships with organizers in key states and expanding his network of national contributors," said Alex Castellanos, a Republican strategist and veteran of numerous GOP campaigns. "It can also warehouse staff that can later move over to a presidential campaign. He can also use the RGA to collect chits by helping fellow GOP governors whom he hopes will eventually help him. It is a great platform for a Republican governor who is being urged to consider a presidential bid."

But Christie could face intraparty sniping that he's using the position to further his chances of winning the party's presidential nomination. Then-Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who chaired the committee in 2006, ahead of his first run for the White House in 2008, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who chaired the RGA ahead of his 2012 bid for president, also got such quiet criticism.

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  1. Pinky Desdner

    You wrote all these trash about Gov. Christie you failed to mention an elephant size corruption and abuse of power that has dominated this governor's tenure in NJ. Because Mayor of Fort Lee refused to endorse Christie's reelection, the governors' political crony closed down ramp to GW Bridge as retribution against the entire Fort Lee residents. Is collective punishment the prevue of things to come. No, its how business are done in NJ under Christies. He throws his weight around, Its cut-throat, knee-capping, mobster tactics, his way or no way. If you ignore this mafia culture, you do not deserve to be called a journalist.

    December 26, 2013 at 10:22 am | Reply

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