The Chris Christie Presidential Rumor Mill will probably never stop churning, but whispers circulating this week are giving Christie's devoted followers some glimmers of hope that the New Jersey governor may just reconsider his decision to sit out in 2012.
The Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol reportedly told a CPAC panel in Florida this afternoon that Christie was "thinking" about running. Of course, this may just have been a savvy ploy to drive traffic to his online editorial posted just after last night's debate. In it, Kristol critiques the current field of GOP candidates and calls on Christie to throw his hat into the ring.
The Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin also pointed to Thursday's GOP debate as a possible turning point for Christie:
As I’ve considered a potential Christie run, I thought there was some possibility that if the stars aligned that he might get in. After all, as I have repeatedly urged, voters should vet the candidates, and if they don’t like the “front runner” they can find someone else. In the wake of last night’s debate, that possibility increased by a factor of 10. (Yeah, yeah, 10 times zero is zero, but it was never zero.)
Newsmax is also jumping on the second-guessing bandwagon today:
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is reconsidering his decision not to enter the 2012 presidential race — and he says he will let top Republican donors know within days about his plans, Newsmax has learned.
During the past few weeks, several leading Republican donors and fundraisers have been urging the popular Republican governor to reconsider his decision not to run and to enter the GOP primary.
These Christie supporters note that significant GOP support has remained on the sidelines of the primary fight. Many leading fundraisers have yet to commit to any current primary contender, including frontrunners Rick Perry and Mitt Romney.
Newsmax has learned that the effort to draft Christie culminated in a hush-hush powwow held in the past week with Christie and several notable Republican billionaires.
A source familiar with the meeting suggested that Christie seemed inclined to enter the race but said he needed more time.
Christie promised to make a final decision "within two weeks," the source said.
Ah, yes... unnamed sources are always the most reliable. As much as I'd love to see Christie go toe-to-toe with the GOP's current top contenders (let alone with President Obama in a potential general election match-up), I'm trying not to let these largely unfounded reports get my hopes up.
Still, could Christie be reconsidering a 2012 run? I'll let his own words from earlier this week speak for themselves:
"I think what the country is thirsting for, more than anything else right now, is someone of stature and credibility to tell them that and say, 'Here's where I want us to go to deal with this crisis,'" Christie said at Rider University in Lawrenceville, N.J. "The fact that nobody yet who's running for president, in my view, has done that effectively is why you continue to hear people ask Daniels if he'll reconsider and ask me if I'll reconsider."
Sigh. All this speculation has got me politically hot & bothered. It's time for some good, old-fashioned Chris Christie porn: