July 13, 2015

Chris Christie won’t be writing a book after all (maybe)


Chris_Christie_at_townhallEarlier this year, we reported on Chris Christie’s efforts to amend a New Jersey state law that would prevent the governor from signing a book deal in the run up to his 2016 presidential campaign—which he officially announced just a few weeks ago.

As it stands, the law bars a sitting governor from “receiving or agreeing to receive, whether directly or indirectly, any compensation, salary, honorarium, fee, or other form of income from any source, other than the compensation paid of reimbursed to him/her by the State for the performance of official duties.”

When Christie’s budget negotiations with Democrats fell apart in May, this particular issue went away with it, and Christie campaign spokesman Samantha Smith told NJ.com “There are no plans to write a book.”

This puts Christie in an interesting place strategically, as every single successful presidential candidate in the past 60 years has published a book before his election, and his rivals for the GOP nomination are planning their campaigns accordingly: Ben Carson’s My Life will come out next week, and the past two months have seen new books from Republican hopefuls Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina. Bobby Jindal’s will be out in the fall.

Adrian Zackheim, who published books by Scott Walker and Mitch Daniels under Penguin Random House’s Sentinel imprint, commented that the advantage of doing a book is “First and foremost [that] it’s the single codified statement about you that isn’t dependent on or at the mercy of a third party . . . it’s your version.”

Assemblyman John Burzichelli speculates that Christie may have already written the book, and if he’s successful in New Hampshire, he might simply resign from his post as governor, publish the book, and use it to prolong media attention. “If he can get some traction there, that’ll keep him alive to do other things.”


Taylor Sperry is a former Melville House editor.