Me, Governor? My Life in the Rough-and-Tumble World of New Jersey Politics

Me, Governor? My Life in the Rough-and-Tumble World of New Jersey Politics

Me, Governor? My Life in the Rough-and-Tumble World of New Jersey Politics

Me, Governor? My Life in the Rough-and-Tumble World of New Jersey Politics

Synopsis

And so, a new chapter in the life of Richard J. Codey, an undertaker's son born and bred in the Garden State, began on the night of August 12, 2004--he knew from that point his life would never be the same... and it hasn't been. His memoir is a breezy, humorous, perceptive, and candid chronicle of local and state government from a man who lived among political movers and shakers for more than three decades. Codey became governor of New Jersey, succeeding James McGreevey, who resigned following a homosexual affair--a shattering scandal and set of circumstances that were bizarre, even for the home state of the Sopranos. At once a political autobiography, filled with lively, incisive anecdotes that record how Codey restored respectability and set a record for good politics and good government in a state so often tarnished, this is also the story about a man and his family.

Excerpt

I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I learned that

I was about to become governor of New Jersey from a reporter.

“I have a source who tells me that McGreevey is going to resign tomorrow,” Brian Thompson, of WNBC-TV News in New York, told me in a late-night phone conversation, referring to New Jersey governor James E. McGreevey.

If Brian was right, the president of the State Senate would become governor and that would be me. But I knew nothing about it. “Brian,” I said, “what kind of marijuana is the source smoking?”

Public officials regularly resign from office and the vacancy is filled by the next in line. Christie Whitman, another New Jersey governor, resigned in 2001 after she was named by President George W. Bush to head the Environmental Protection Agency. But seldom, barring assassination, is the pending resignation a total surprise to the person about to be promoted.

“No Dick, I’m serious,” Brian said on the phone, sounding a lot more excited than usual. and he pleaded for a straight answer because he was scheduled to fly to Madison, Wisconsin, the next day to see his mother. He wouldn’t go if McGreevey were resigning. “Brian,” I repeated, “I know absolutely, positively nothing about this in any way, shape, or form. I was just with him maybe ten days ago at the Democratic National Convention in Boston. I had dinner with him. Sat next to him. He didn’t say anything about resigning.” I advised Brian to make his trip.

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