With Federal Charges Looming, Christie Visits New Hampshire

How to run a scandal-dogged presidential campaign.

Chris Christie

Chris Christie’s threading a very difficult needle: He’s mounting what looks like the early stages of a presidential campaign even as federal charges loom against some of his former aides in the  “Bridgegate” scandal — a development that could also ensnare him.

MSNBC reports on Christie’s weekend trip to New Hampshire:

The reactions to Christie from his meet-and-greet with Havenstein at T-Bones’ Great American Eatery in the small town of Bedford on Friday afternoon ranged from sheer enthusiasm, to skepticism, to indifference. But talk of 2016 was rampant.

Christie walked up to 53-year-old Patrick McCoy of Nashua, who was eating a steak sandwich, to say “hello.” McCoy told the politician, “The last governor I shook hands with became president,” recounting when he met Ronald Reagan in junior high. The security officer said he’d be thrilled if Christie ran for president. “I like him. He tells us how it is,” he said.

The problem?

According to a new report by Esquire, four of the governor’s former aides and associates are facing “near certain” federal corruption indictments by a grand jury at the request of U.S. attorney Paul Fishman as early as next month. The article, which quotes two anonymous sources the publication says are familiar with the probe, contends those facing the likely indictments include former Port Authority officials Bill Baroni and David Wildstein, the governor’s former deputy chief of staff Bridget Kelly and Christie’s former campaign manager Bill Stepien.

The piece also suggests that Samson could potentially cut a deal with the feds and flip on Christie, but the article doesn’t specifically say what the governor may be accused of. One source told the magazine that “Fishman is really focused on Christie” and that “ultimately, he believes he’ll get to the governor.”