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JOHN FUND: The Last Temptation of CHRIS CHRISTIE – National Review Online

September 20, 2011

The Last Temptation of Christie

The New Jersey governor could still run.


SEPTEMBER 20, 2011 3:00 P.M.

New Jersey governor Chris Christie has joked that only his suicide would put an end to the demands that he run for president. His aides continue to shoot down rumors that he is mulling a last-minute parachute jump into the middle of the GOP field. Just a few weeks ago, he accepted the post of vice chairman of the Republican Governors Association, a prestigious position that he would have to abandon immediately if he were to enter the race.

But there are signs the governor may be privately reconsidering. Paul Gigot, editor of the Wall Street Journal, told Fox News Sunday that according to his sources Christie is “very carefully” rethinking his opposition to running for president. “There are enough people who have gone to him now and said, ‘Look, this field is weak, and none of them may be able to beat the president . . . Now is your moment . . . ’” A top Republican donor to Christie told me he is convinced the man has already decided to run. A prominent New York political figure is equally certain he will enter the race.

But is it too late for a late entry into the GOP sweepstakes? Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana says “someone else could still enter and have a competitive chance.” He told the New York Times he’s “tried to recruit three or four people,” because, like many Republicans, he isn’t satisfied with the current Republican field. I have no doubt Governor Christie was the recipient of one of Mitch Daniels’s calls.

With the exception of Sarah Palin or some mysterious billionaire, Governor Christie is probably the only person who could still enter at this late date. His “rock star” persona built around his blunt talking style would immediately place him in the top tier of candidates, along with Mitt Romney and Rick Perry. There is no doubt that money would not be a problem. Just as Governor Perry has a network of Texas supporters ready to spend millions on his candidacy, Christie has been assured by many Northeastern donors that they could swiftly arrange a similar or even greater network of support. While Christie’s political team hasn’t won a race outside New Jersey, it is nonetheless made of battle-hardened veterans who know how to throw a punch.

via The Last Temptation of Christie – John Fund – National Review Online.


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