Christie appoints AG Chiesa as interim Senator

posted at 2:01 pm on June 6, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Governor Chris Christie just completed a press conference announcing his choice to represent New Jersey in the US Senate until the October special election to fill the remaining year of the late Frank Lautenberg’s term.  Christie appointed Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa, who will not run in the special election:

Gov. Chris Christie today named state attorney general Jeffrey Chiesa to fill the Senate seat left vacant by the death of U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg.

Christie’s announcement at a hastily arranged news conference ended days of intense speculation over whom the Republican governor would appoint to serve nearly five months before voters elect a replacement for the 89-year-old Lautenberg, who died Monday.

Christie told the presser that he had been thinking about this choice off and on for a while, knowing of Lautenberg’s health issues.  Chiesa had apparently been foremost in his mind even before Lautenberg’s passing.  That may have come as a surprise to Christie’s fellow Republicans, who might have hoped that he would choose someone that could use the time to get a leg up on the short-cycled special election on which Christie insisted.  Instead, Chiesa will have no impact on the race, and any Republican candidate will have to emerge from the shadow cast by Chiesa and Christie.

ABC’s Rick Klein asks a good question:

It’s difficult to imagine how.

More on Chiesa from the AP:

Chiesa, a Republican, was Christie’s chief counsel until he was nominated in December 2011 to be attorney general.

Chiesa has known the governor for more than 20 years. Their relationship began when Christie interviewed Chiesa as a law clerk for the firm Dughi & Hewit. Chiesa would spend nine years in the U.S. attorney’s office before leaving for a short stint as a partner at the law firm of Wolff & Samson. He then worked on Christie’s transition team.

As attorney general, he has overseen gun buyback programs all over the state, but has not had a particularly high profile.

Raised in Bound Brook, he attended the University of Notre Dame as an undergrad and went on to get a law degree from the Catholic University of America. He is married with a son and a daughter.

Sounds as though he would have made a pretty good candidate for the job in a special election, except for the low profile.

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Christie is brilliant…for Christie.

Schadenfreude on June 6, 2013 at 2:06 PM

A 4-month term to sit there and look pretty. Christie thinks only of himself.

nobar on June 6, 2013 at 2:08 PM

At this point, what does it matter?” asked Christie, in his best Democratically feminine voice.

M240H on June 6, 2013 at 2:08 PM

If we are lucky, this one acts like Ted Cruz. If we are cursed, he is a McCain clone.

nobar on June 6, 2013 at 2:10 PM

$12 million dollars of taxpayer money for a special election held two weeks before another election that his appointee won’t even run in, heckuva job Christie.

clearbluesky on June 6, 2013 at 2:10 PM

Are we sure he said Chiesa and wasn’t just ordering some more queso?

Flange on June 6, 2013 at 2:11 PM

any Republican candidate will have to emerge from the shadow cast by Chiesa and Christie.

Weather alert: E5 shadow.

hillsoftx on June 6, 2013 at 2:11 PM

He made a deal. If Christie doesn’t ‘muck up’ the secure democrat seat in the senate, The Won himself will endore and support the big man for president. Oh, he’ll run as a democrat.

maryo on June 6, 2013 at 2:13 PM

What does this mean for amnesty and gun control?

El_Terrible on June 6, 2013 at 2:14 PM

Cripe 18 mths we could’ve had a gop there

cmsinaz on June 6, 2013 at 2:14 PM

He should have just appointed Booker, join the Democrat party been done with it.

tbrickert on June 6, 2013 at 2:14 PM

What does this mean for amnesty and gun control?

El_Terrible on June 6, 2013 at 2:14 PM

Whatever Schumer and Obama want it to mean.

Schadenfreude on June 6, 2013 at 2:16 PM

Oh, he’ll run as a democrat.

maryo on June 6, 2013 at 2:13 PM

NO, he’ll run as a RINO, same thing.

Schadenfreude on June 6, 2013 at 2:17 PM

He should have just appointed Booker, join the Democrat party been done with it.

tbrickert on June 6, 2013 at 2:14 PM

Had he done that, it would have been easier for the GOP establishment to throw him under the bus.

This scenario sucks because he’s essentially putting a RINO up temporarily so that a rapid prog can take over in a few months. But if he runs for President, he can still say, “See, I’m loyal to my party.”

aryeung on June 6, 2013 at 2:20 PM

short of picking a Democrat, could Gov. Christie have chosen a process and a person that would benefit national GOP less?

Nope, probably not. Ann Coulter hardest hit – again.

Way to go, fat boy. Just change parties already, stop the pretense.

ICanSeeNovFromMyHouse on June 6, 2013 at 2:21 PM

short of picking a Democrat, could Gov. Christie have chosen a process and a person that would benefit national GOP less?

No. He could not.

Selfish egomaniacal bastard. I don’t normally root for Republicans to lose elections, but I won’t shed any tears if this idiotic gambit ends up backfiring on him and he loses his re-elect.

KingGold on June 6, 2013 at 2:21 PM

OT, but worthy of its own post….Gowdy’s tearful presentation at the hearings today

Gowdy, Cruz, Paul—the only 3 who give me hope.

hillsoftx on June 6, 2013 at 2:22 PM

What does this mean for amnesty and gun control?

El_Terrible on June 6, 2013 at 2:14 PM

Don’t know about amnesty, but he looks like he was a big proponent of “gun buy backs”. My feeling is that he holds the same beliefs as Christie in regards to “gun control”

tencole on June 6, 2013 at 2:28 PM

I do not trust Christie. Like so many other northeastern politicians, I see him as an opportunist who will switch parties if it helps him in his political career. He’s not doing much for the GOP that does not directly benefit him. I see shades of Arlen Spector, who switched parties, not once, but twice.

simkeith on June 6, 2013 at 2:30 PM

Christie/Obama 2016

redguy on June 6, 2013 at 2:32 PM

Everybody get it yet!? Krispy Kreme is a bloated big gov’t progtard with an R next to his name. Except for not being able reach around and wipe himself, he’s John McCain…Well, maybe they’re not so different after all.

Western_Civ on June 6, 2013 at 2:35 PM

mmm chiesa, i used to love watching him play, such a natural goal scorer.

sesquipedalian on June 6, 2013 at 2:35 PM

If we are lucky, this one acts like Ted Cruz. If we are cursed, he is a McCain clone.

nobar on June 6, 2013 at 2:10 PM

In what alternate universe would Chris Christie nominate someone who would not make John McCain look like Sam Adams? This guy [who is a Christie lackey, the AG in New Jersey being appointed by the Governor and not elected] if we are lucky will be as absent as Lautenberg over the last few months. If we are not lucky, Schumer has a new soul mate.

Subotai Bahadur on June 6, 2013 at 2:37 PM

Hey Verizon- That 14:35 for 15 seconds was a mis-dial. My bad. Please take that one off my profile.

Happy Nomad on June 6, 2013 at 2:39 PM

What’s with the pic of this guy??

So New Jersey promotes the Disabed for
Attorney Greneral positions??

ToddPA on June 6, 2013 at 2:39 PM

Subotai Bahadur on June 6, 2013 at 2:37 PM

I tried not being a pessimist there. I’ll cease that immediately.

nobar on June 6, 2013 at 2:40 PM

OT, but worthy of its own post….Gowdy’s tearful presentation at the hearings today…

Gowdy, Cruz, Paul—the only 3 who give me hope.

hillsoftx on June 6, 2013 at 2:22 PM

That was freaking awesome.

gophergirl on June 6, 2013 at 2:40 PM

Christie/Obama Michelle 2016

redguy on June 6, 2013 at 2:32 PM

Otherwise it’s not possible, not constitutionally anyway.

Schadenfreude on June 6, 2013 at 2:41 PM

The point (among many) that Christie is missing, as usual, is that party “affiliation” is not defined by what you say. Rather, it is defined by your actions, just like most everything else in life.

No, he can’t say, “see, I appointed an R so I’m a good Republican.” He did nothing whatsoever to help the Republican party. This appointment does not demonstrate he is “loyal” to his party or, in fact, that he gives a flying damn about his party.

A short history lesson. Go back and listen to Christie Creme’s nomination speech at the convention. See how long it takes him to mention the nominee. He and Obama would be great, head to head in a “Me” contest.

IndieDogg on June 6, 2013 at 2:41 PM

Christie really wanted to pick Barky.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 6, 2013 at 2:41 PM

Why won’t he run in the special election?

changer1701 on June 6, 2013 at 2:42 PM

Christie will switch parties and go for the Democratic nomination in 2016

workingclass artist on June 6, 2013 at 2:49 PM

Chris Christie: Profile in courage.
.
.
.
.
(What is a book that will never be written, Alex?)

makattak on June 6, 2013 at 2:55 PM

Apparently Christie thinks all the Huntsman campaign lacked was an obese loudmouth verbally dressing down female and teen hecklers from behind a wall of bodyguards.

Daemonocracy on June 6, 2013 at 3:01 PM

OT, but worthy of its own post….Gowdy’s tearful presentation at the hearings today…

Gowdy, Cruz, Paul—the only 3 who give me hope.

hillsoftx on June 6, 2013 at 2:22 PM

That was awesome…thanks for posting the link

workingclass artist on June 6, 2013 at 3:09 PM

Christie just gave 60th vote for cloture on AMNESTY vote.

He could have left the seat empty for a few more weeks or months, but Christie is pro-amnesty so it’s a natural move for Christie.

Anyone think Chiesa won’t vote FOR amnesty-palooza???

Call your Senator – or ANY Senator – for free – using a liberal open borders front group’s toll free number

1-888-979-7506

option 2 for Senators, then option 0 for Capitol switchboard and ask for whomever, anyone in DC, you want

and open borders PICO front group pays for your call!!

http://www.piconetwork.org/issues/immigration

fred5678 on June 6, 2013 at 3:14 PM

There was an excellent Senate candidate who ran against the pervert Menendez in the 2012 election (can’t recall his name offhand). Why didn’t Christie pick him? That would have been a nice poke in the eye of not only the Democratic party, but to Menendez personally.

Oh, wait…. that would require an actual Republican to make a move like that.

UltimateBob on June 6, 2013 at 3:17 PM

Why does anyone behave as if Christie were actually a republican.

Don L on June 6, 2013 at 3:22 PM

OT, but worthy of its own post….Gowdy’s tearful presentation at the hearings today…

Gowdy, Cruz, Paul—the only 3 who give me hope.

hillsoftx on June 6, 2013 at 2:22 PM

Great Video! This video needs to go viral now! Thank you for posting it.

wren on June 6, 2013 at 3:22 PM

If Christie wanted to safe NJ some money, why didn’t he just appoint Booker to the seat? That’s exactly who he gave the seat to by holding the election in 4 months anyway. All he’s doing is making Booker wait a couple of months until he can have his seat!

Mashman on June 6, 2013 at 3:27 PM

“Chiesa” = a name that even a life-long, dedicated NJ Republican wouldn’t recognize.

“Heck of a job,” uber uber rhino RINO christie !

TeaPartyNation on June 6, 2013 at 3:31 PM

I’m sorry, but this a mountain out of a molehill. If there was a snowball’s chance of any Republican winning the senate seat in NJ, Christie would have found one. The truth is, none of the GOP Congressmen in NJ want to sacrifice their seat to hold a Senate seat for 4 months only to lose to a Democrat.

Remember, this is the state that had the whole Toricelli scandal. The NJ Dems managed to get him removed as the nominated Senator and managed to get.. Frank Lautenberg to fill his seat. Despite these shenanigans and a solid GOP challenge (Doug Forrester), Lautenberg soundly defeated him.

Now we’re expecting that 4 months in the Senate is supposed to solidify a GOP Senator in a deep blue state? It’s delusion!

If squishy Scott Brown can’t hold a senate seat in Massachusetts, then there’s no way anonymous GOP Man X is going to hold it in New Jersey.

Christie was in a no-win here. The GOP was in a no-win here. There’s plenty more to hit Christie on, but this line of attack smacks of wishful thinking.

Nethicus on June 6, 2013 at 4:03 PM

Does this guy get the Congress critter medical and retirement for life?

Dingbat63 on June 6, 2013 at 4:14 PM

Well he knows the HA/wingnut crowd will fall in line regardless of their whining now. So why take the risk on the folks he really needs to have a chance.

HotAirLib on June 6, 2013 at 4:16 PM

As attorney general, he has overseen Gun Buy Back Programs

and he’d make a good candidate for the special? are you drunk?

Kaptain Amerika on June 6, 2013 at 4:24 PM

Ed, Why would he be a good candidate??? No clue in your writing

georgealbert on June 6, 2013 at 4:29 PM

So why take the risk on the folks he really needs to have a chance.

HotAirLib on June 6, 2013 at 4:16 PM

A chance at what?

If it’s the White House he has no chance.

itsspideyman on June 6, 2013 at 4:31 PM

If it’s the White House he has no chance.
itsspideyman on June 6, 2013 at 4:31 PM

You and I know you will fall in line if he wins the GOP nomination for President. I doubt you are willing to tolerate another dem president after Obama’s term.

HotAirLib on June 6, 2013 at 4:39 PM

If it’s the White House he has no chance.
itsspideyman on June 6, 2013 at 4:31 PM

You and I know you will fall in line if he wins the GOP nomination for President. I doubt you are willing to tolerate another dem president after Obama’s term.

HotAirLib on June 6, 2013 at 4:39 PM

Sorry to disappoint you, but I didn’t vote for either McCain or Romney. They were RINO’s at the worst, and I won’t vote for tubby either.

Big boy has shown he’s in it only for himself, like the current seat-warmer.

The mind-numbed robots who are bussed into vote are on your team.

itsspideyman on June 6, 2013 at 4:44 PM

OT, but worthy of its own post….Gowdy’s tearful presentation at the hearings today…

Gowdy, Cruz, Paul—the only 3 who give me hope.

hillsoftx on June 6, 2013 at 2:22 PM

Whoa!

He’ll be on Hannity or Greta tonight, I bet.

BuckeyeSam on June 6, 2013 at 4:49 PM

Ann Coulter approves.

jukin3 on June 6, 2013 at 5:02 PM

You and I know you will fall in line if he wins the GOP nomination for President. I doubt you are willing to tolerate another dem president after Obama’s term.

HotAirLib on June 6, 2013 at 4:39 PM

Romney and McCain failed to mobilize their base the way Bush did, but you think Christie can do the same? Not everyone is motivated by party affiliation, some actually have principles.

Daemonocracy on June 6, 2013 at 5:46 PM

If we are lucky, this one acts like Ted Cruz. If we are cursed, he is a McCain clone.

nobar on June 6, 2013 at 2:10 PM

We are cursed. Did you not see that Chiesa is Mr. Gun Buyback?

Steve Eggleston on June 6, 2013 at 5:54 PM

Chiesa is the Italian word for church. Where we need to go if we want a Republican Senator from New Jersey.

Steve Z on June 6, 2013 at 5:54 PM

sesquipedalian on June 6, 2013 at 2:35 PM

Hmmm missed you on the unemployment related threads today.

CW on June 6, 2013 at 6:05 PM

Christie seems to be thinking long term.

The assumption here is that NJ can be converted from deep blue to something better. If he runs the state well, convinces folks that the teachers unions are nuts, and generally makes a good case against liberalism, then when people get sufficiently ticked at Obamacare, he might make some real gains.

The 2009 anger that got him into office is a force he understands and is trying to tap into again. Lots of Dems are demoralized right now and he didn’t want to resuscitate them.

The guy ain’t perfect but if 2013 is a good year in the NJ state elections, we should all be very happy.

Seeing Wisconsin shift so much in the last few years has been a real thrill. I wouldn’t have guessed that was possible. Virginia and NC are redder than ever too. Pick off a few more (plus clean up the deadwood in places like WV) and we’re looking at long term control.

Pythagoras on June 6, 2013 at 6:33 PM

Does this guy get a Senator’s retirement after four months?

TexasDan on June 6, 2013 at 7:53 PM