Gov. Jon S. Corzine seemed like a changed man to two politicians who met with him yesterday, two weeks after the governor was severely injured in a car crash.
"He looks very good," said Senate President Richard J. Codey, who is serving as acting governor while Corzine recuperates. "He sounds very good and he feels very, very blessed that he's alive and well.
"He said, 'Dick, I've never felt as at peace with myself as I am now based on what happened.' "
At one point, Codey said, Corzine talked about a newspaper story that shed a negative light on him. "He said, 'I don't care about those things like I used to.' "
Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts Jr. joined Codey for a half-hour talk in Corzine's room at Cooper University Hospital. Roberts brought with him a giant get-well card from the General Assembly. He said that it had been signed so far mostly by Democrats, but that he planned to ask Republicans to sign it too.
"He is changed in a way that he's even more determined to make a difference in the world," Roberts said.
Codey and Roberts, both Democrats like Corzine, said Corzine did not mention anything about how he was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the April 12 crash on the Garden State Parkway. But they said he remembered some things about the accident.
Codey said Corzine told them he was writing some notes as he sat in the front passenger seat in an SUV driven by a state trooper and the next thing he knew, there was a crash.
Corzine's visitors said the governor had praise for the trooper who was driving him and the two troopers in the vehicle that was following.
Codey said the governor was especially impressed that his driver, Trooper Robert Rasinski, tried to turn the car so that the governor would not get the brunt of the impact with the guard rail. *