New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has his eyes set on the top job at the Republican National Committee (RNC) after the conviction of two former associates dampened his chances of a Cabinet slot in the Trump administration.
Christie, who was ousted as head of the Presidential Transition Team earlier this month, has discussed with Trump officials his interest in taking the reins at the RNC, which has been leaderless since Reince Priebus left to serve as White House Chief of Staff, according to Politico.
Word of Christie’s moves to filll Priebus' shoes comes just days after he insisted that he would complete his term as Garden State governor, which ends on January 18, 2018.
"For some reason, people think I’m equivocal about this, and I’m not … I will continue my term,'' Christie told reporters on Tuesday.
Christie then qualified his statement.
"Now, I said this on the radio last week and somebody said it was equivocal, because I said if the president of the United States comes to you and asks you to do something, you don’t say no before they ask.''
If Christie were to take the position, it would not be the first time a sitting governor served as chairman of the RNC.
In 2001, then-Gov. Jim Gilmore of Virginia led the committee for about 10 months.
Current RNC rules do require the chairman to be a fulltime employee, but a provision exists that would allow the rule to be modified through a vote by a majority of committee members.
According to the Associated Press, Priebus was paid $82,200 in the first quarter of this year, or a prorated $328,800 annually.
The RNC did not respond to questions about salary levels.
It would be a position that would be suited to the governor’s ability to raise money, which he did relentlessly during the campaign and also is a position that does not require any kind of hearing process.
“He has a history of raising money for Republican candidates, so if I was betting I would say it’s RNC chair. The only other one that might make sense is, I think he has an outside shot at the Department of Homeland Security,” Seton Hall University political scientist Matt Hale told the New York Observer.
“That would have to be Trump and his team being willing to roll the dice on talking about Bridgegate for a week, which they may decide is worth it to get Christie in Homeland Security. The RNC chair, there’s no confirmation, there’s no hearings. There’s just the president saying ‘This is what I would like’ and the RNC presumably following suit,” he added.
According to The Hill, former GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina and Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers are being considered for the RNC chairmanship.