Governor Chris Christie is not a candidate for President of the United States. This is a fact we’ve heard a million times at this point int he cycle. Christie has a far more important job in the 2012 election. As one of the top stars in the Republican party across the entire nation, our Governor has the ability to give his blessing and sway the primary elections in a number of key states where his blunt YouTube videos have earned him his reputation. With his status, it is essentially Christie’s responsibility to choose a proper candidate to endorse, to ensure that we do not get stuck with a Sharon Angle or a Christine O’Donnell to drag down all of the work that has gone into the rebuilding of the conservative movement and the Republican party since 2006.
Well this week, the man who has literally been running for President since he dropped out of the primary against John McCain in 2008, Governor Mitt Romney, made a discrete visit to Drumthwacket for a meeting that was only leaked under conditions of anonymity.
Christie and Romney have a political history. As most of you know, Romeny endorsed Christie during the primary in 2009, which looking back on it now was a really good move on his part. If Romney was forward thinking enough to realize the potential that this Governor had to become the force that he has become, then I think that speaks well to his candidacy in general. He’s smart to come down early and leverage that recent past to lock up support. Its clear that Romney will begin his public campaign early, but coming out of the gate with the endorsement of the biggest new name in politics would do more for his push than any of the (too) early debates that are set to take place this spring.
Now, I don’t want to stir things up too early or say too much, but I from what I have been hearing, Governor Christie might have his endorsing eyes set on another prominent, current governor for the nod. Even with the help he’s given, Romney may have a lot of convincing to do. This meeting with Christie and nearly 24 members of his team was likely a good first step. Only time will tell.
This is a drama that will continue to play out over the next year right before our eyes. The media is watching Christie’s every move, secretly hoping he will go back on his word and throw his own hat in. But that won’t happen. He’s more powerful where he is, and it gives him better positioning for 2020 (or 2016 if for whatever reason the candidate who beats Obama decides not to run for re-election, however unlikely that may be). We will be coming back to this theme over and over again as it gets more contentious. I am predicting now that much like during the midterms, while there will be some overlap, there is going to be a group of candidates vying for Governor Christie’s endorsement, and another for Sarah Palin’s, with some obvious overlap since most candidates likely would seek both. They are the big names for this election. Stay tuned.