Weigel

Mighty Christie Has Bowed Out

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie speaks as his wife Mary Pat listens during the tenth anniversary ceremonies of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center site, September 11, 2011 in New York City. New York City and the nation are commemorating the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks which resulted in the deaths of nearly 3,000 people after two hijacked planes crashed into the World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia and one crash landed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Noah K. Murray-Pool/Getty Images)
Photo by Noah K. Murray-Pool/Getty Images

Jon Karl is one of many reporters working sources to say that the governor of New Jersey will take a pass on 2011. My favorite Twitter comment, from radio’s Guy Benson: “Sources tell me Christie isn’t running. And by ‘sources,’ I mean ‘Chris Christie.’ About 18,000 times.”

The non-decision decision won’t be official until a 1 p.m. press conference. Even then, you’ll probably have to sedate Ken Langone and lock him in a sensory depravation chamber to stop him begging the governor to run. After all, the new Washington Post poll, which has Barack Obama reeling at 43 percent approval, has Christie tied with him, 45-45, in a potential presidential bid. Much of the appeal of a Christie run was the ingrained conservative belief that Obama is an overrated, text-bound public speaker, whereas Christie is either the best speaker since Demostothenes or Lincoln. (It’s subject to debate.) Another factor – one that got a bit less coverage – was teased out by Jonathan Martin and Maggie Haberman.

Several bundlers who like Christie but who thought there was zero chance he’d reconsider signed up with Romney. But many others have stayed on the sidelines, including at least 40 or so who had told him they wouldn’t go elsewhere if there was a chance he’d run… Among the key reassurances the bundlers gave him? A super PAC would immediately be formed to help raise unlimited sums of cash that couldn’t be coordinated with his campaign but could support his candidacy.

The prospect of a super PAC cash infusion has played a role in convincing Christie that he would be able to compete, despite a late start, with two proven fundraisers, multiple sources said.

This was why the Christie boomlet was credible, and why it didn’t rely on silly things like a woman getting all googley-eyed over him at a speech. Post-Citizens United, it was possible for wealthy people to put money in a side pocket and steamroll over candidates in support of their choice. The boomlet was not just some expression of GOP populist rage; it was a test case for businessmen, furious with Barack Obama, to choose their own gladiator.