New Jersey Gov. Corzine is recovering well and feels as if he's gotten a second lease on life, said acting Gov. Richard J. Codey and Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts after they emerged from a meeting with Corzine at Cooper University Hospital in Camden.
"He's really at peace with himself and he looks at life a little different now," Codey told reporters early this afternoon after about a half-hour meeting with Corzine, who is recuperating from a highway accident. "The small things in life aren't going to bother him."
Codey said Corzine told him he would leave the hospital on Tuesday or Wednesday, and would then evaluate his energy level and physical condition before deciding when he could resume gubernatorial duties.
Codey, the president of the State Senate, has been acting governor since the April 12 crash in which Corzine broke 11 ribs, his left femur, his breastbone and collarbone. Corzine was on a ventilator for a week.
Corzine communications director Anthony Coley said today that the governor would do all of his rehabilitation at Drumthwacket, the governor's mansion in Princeton, after he was released from Cooper. Corzine - a multimillionaire who takes a $1 salary - will also pay all of his own medical bills, Coley said.
Codey and Roberts, who like Corzine are Democrats, were the first people to visit Corzine outside of his family and a few staff members. Codey said the accident had brought Corzine closer to his three children and his girlfriend, Sharon Elghanayan.
Corzine said several times that he feels "very blessed that he's alive," Codey said. When Codey tried to bring up policy matters, Corzine told him he didn't care about that now.
Roberts said Corzine looked good and had a strong voice, but was in no rush to return to work.
Corzine was not wearing a seat belt and the state trooper driving his SUV was going 91 m.p.h. seconds before the accident on the Garden State Parkway. Codey and Roberts said that the seat belt never came up in the meeting, but that Corzine thinks well of the state trooper who drove the SUV.