By Art Gallagher
Despite his repeated and colorful denials of interest, the Republican calls for and media speculation about Governor Chris Christie entering the 2012 Presidential race is not going away.
In large measure that is because Christie doesn’t seem as though he wants it to go away.
“No, I’m not running. I don’t know what to do short of suicide to convince you that I’m not running. Oh, and thanks for asking, I’m really flattered that you are asking, again and again and again, and that you’re willing to raise hundreds of millions of dollars if I change my mind, but I’m not changing my mind.” That’s an invitation to keep asking. It’s a tease. “No, I won’t do it under any circumstances. I’m not ready. But ask me again.”
By most accounts, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels really wanted to run for president. Yet, when he announced that he wasn’t running because he didn’t want to put his family through a presidential campaign, Republican rain makers and the media stopped asking him to run or if there was any chance that he would reconsider.
That’s obviously not the case with Christie.
As I said in my radio conversation with Bob Ingle last week, the only way I can see Christie running is if his wife Mary Pat becomes convinced that another four years of President Obama would have a more detrimental impact on the lives of the Christie children than a Christie presidency would have, and if New Jersey’s First Lady became convinced that Obama was likely to be reelected if her husband didn’t run against him.
As rehearsed and coached as the Christie family appeared in their Piers Morgan interview, after viewing it I was convinced they had made a family decision that Christie wouldn’t run in 2012. I admired their family unity. I admired a marriage that puts the children first.
Yet, why do an interview like that if you’re not running for national office?
I stopped taking the Christie for President buzz seriously after the Morgan interview. Karl Rove’s vibrations about Christie after Texas Governor Rick Perry stole the limelight from Michele Bachman didn’t make me think Christie was running. Ross Douthat’s New York Times columns, here and here didn’t make me think Christie would run. The Daily Caller and Weekly Standard reports that Christie and Congressman Paul Ryan made an pact that one of them would run made me wonder just a bit.
Something happened today that made me wonder if Christie isn’t getting ready to run. It wasn’t the news that Ryan’s not running, according to The Weekly Standard.
Four times today the Christie’s press office sent out email announcements to the press about something Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno is doing, including a video. Usually Guadagno’s public appearances are included in the daily itinerary for the Governor that the press office sends out with little additional mention, if any. Today’s activity was unusual.
The Governor and his team are extraordinarily disciplined. It’s rare that something happens for no reason. If the Governor’s office is intentionally raising Guadagno’s public profile, there is a reason for it.
It makes me wonder if Mary Pat is getting concerned about the Republican field of presidential candidates, our country, and her children’s future.