Livingston High School can’t discuss Tuesday’s event—not that they’re confirming there is an event at all.
But if there were an event on Tuesday of some kind, perhaps involving a man who for the sake of this story we’ll call Chris Christie, they certainly couldn’t say so. Usually, evasiveness is not the policy for discussing events held at the school, but this event—not that anyone is saying there is any event—is different, and can they please call back?
WNYC’s Matt Katz reported on Thursday that “sources familiar” with the New Jersey governor’s plan say he will formally announce his presidential campaign on Tuesday, at Livingston High School, where he graduated 35 years ago.
Christie’s political action committee, Leadership Matters for America, has not yet responded to a request for confirmation from The Daily Beast. As for the high school, it seems safe to assume that they might be overwhelmed by an unusually high volume of calls from reporters.
To continue reading this article, please play “Glory Days” by Bruce Springsteen.
Christie was raised in the leafy Newark suburb of Livingston, and he attended Livingston schools.
This week, Christie’s approval rating hit an all-time-low of 30 percent. But back in high school, he was popular.
As Katz extensively documented for The Philadelphia Inquirer, during this time in Christie’s life, in the mid-1970s, the future governor was kind of The Man.
He was a varsity catcher on the baseball team, and he was elected class president three times.
He won students the right to eat lunch off school grounds, and he moved graduation to the football field, according to Katz.
His yearbook quote was “Great Hopes makes Great Men.”
Christie went on to the University of Delaware and then Seton Hall Law School. In the early 1990s, he began his political career by running, unsuccessfully, for the New Jersey State Senate. He would get elected to the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders in 1994, and then, after two failed local and state campaigns, he would leave politics to focus on his law practice—and campaign for George W. Bush.
That would pay off. In 2002, Bush appointed Christie as the United States Attorney. He remained in the office for eight years, making a name for himself as a corruption-buster who nailed over 100 public officials.
Almost at the same time that he was elected governor, in 2009, chatter began about a potential bid for the White House. In 2012, Republican party leaders and the national media wanted him to run for the nomination so badly that he memorably said, “Short of suicide, I don’t really know what I’d have to do to convince you people that I’m not running. I’m not running.”
He did run for reelection, however, and in 2013 he won in a landslide. The following two years would be marked by Bridgegate and subsequent state and federal investigations that called into question Christie’s ability to have any political future at all—never mind one that led him to Washington.
But if Christie’s career has taught us anything, it’s that he has the resilience of a slasher movie zombie. He has been pronounced dead more times than most politicians are hailed as viable. And he has come back each time.
Whether Christie can overcome his current popularity problem remains to be seen. An NBC-Wall Street Journal poll released Monday shows him in 8th place among the Republican primary field.