Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Christie Whitman "absolutely" pushing for Christie bid

Former NJ Gov. Christie Whitman does a little 2016 handicapping, and also note her comment about Jeb Bush's wife -- a lot of people agree and think familial concerns could scuttle a Bush '16 bid*.

Q. Could Chris Christie move the party to the middle?

A. He could. But he’s going to have to deal with the issues he has in front of him in New Jersey. But he certainly has the ability to work across the aisle and bring people together. He can be a voice for that, and he will.

Q. Are you rooting for him to run in 2016?

A. You have to see how the next few years go, but I think absolutely.

Q. How about (former Florida Gov.) Jeb Bush?

A. I don’t think his wife is interested. And it’s tough to take on that role without family support.

*Back in October, New York Magazine reported that Jeb's wife seemed to nix a 2012 bid.

But the major reason was the unwillingness, or inability, of his wife to be a political partner. Columba Bush, long and awkward presence in the Bush family, speaks English haltingly and has rarely joined her husband on political stages. When Jeb became governor, she spent less time in the capital of Tallahassee than she did in their home near Miami, where the family, including Jeb, all spoke Spanish. Signs of trouble first emerged in 1999 when she went on a five-day Parisian shopping trip and bought $19,000 worth of clothes and jewelry and tried declaring only $500 at Customs (to hide the expenditures from her husband, she said). After the ensuing media debacle, she was kept out of sight. “My wife is not a public person,” Bush said at the time. “She is uncomfortable with the limelight, which is why I love her. I don’t want a political wife—I want someone who when I get home I can have a normal life with.”