On Christie's to-do list as new RGA chief: Helping Lindsey Graham win reelection

Mr. Christie’s national profile will only increase later this month as he assumes leadership of the Republican Governors Association, which gives him sway over which state candidates the party will support, allowing him to rack up favors with other Republicans and create relationships with local leaders in key presidential states.

In the interview, Mr. Christie said he would be appearing frequently in “places like Ohio and Michigan and Florida,” all states with incumbent Republican governors up for re-election next year. He has also told South Carolina Republicans that he wants to help Senator Lindsey Graham, who is facing a conservative primary challenge next year. And in New Hampshire, which has the country’s first presidential primary, the national committeeman, Stephen Duprey, said he was inviting Mr. Christie to the state to discuss policy and to raise money for the party.

Still, Mr. Christie has to be governor of New Jersey, and that may complicate his plans to run for the presidency.