The Campaign Spot

The 2012 Race Just Wasn’t Big Enough for Chris Christie

In the midweek edition of the Morning Jolt:

Christie Says No, Again — for Real This Time; He Means It

I love ya, Big Guy. But the timing just wasn’t right. Everybody could see that you were heartfelt when you said you wanted to take the time to watch your kids grow up. You exhibited delightful modesty when you said you weren’t sure if you were ready for the job. You knew that despite the fact that Obama has shattered the notion that a potential president needed to spend a significant amount of time on the national stage, letting the American people get to know him or her, it was asking a lot to expect Americans to elect a man president just two years into his governorship.

And frankly, you still have a job to do, a point he made explicit in his statement:

Saying “now is not my time,” Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey announced on Tuesday that he would not seek the Republican nomination for the presidency.Mr. Christie said he had taken to heart the appeals of influential Republicans and ordinary Americans to reconsider an 11th-hour campaign. But after only 20 months on the job as governor, he said he had “a commitment to New Jersey that I simply will not abandon.” “So, New Jersey,” he added, “whether you like it or not, you’re stuck with me.”

Robert Stacy McCain highlights a Christie answer suggesting we shouldn’t expect to see him on the national GOP ticket anytime soon: ”’I am who I am — there’s not a lot of varnish here,’ Christie says. In response to a question, he dismisses talk of himself as the GOP running mate, saying there’s nobody in America who thinks he’s temperamentally suited to being No. 2.” Bob Costa reported that in the end, time remained a key factor:

As Christie mulled for weeks, his team was under instructions to sit on their hands, and to do nothing that sniffed of actual political activity. His campaign contributors were told the same. Instead, they watched, often with regret, as early states moved up their election dates. By early this week, when Christie briefly reconsidered, the clock didn’t make sense to his team. They certainly had media buzz, but that was all that was guaranteed — a big risk in a compressed period when staffers, operatives, and activist organization are crucial.

Larry Kudlow understands, but clearly remains a fan:

Gov. Chris Christie gracefully, elegantly, and forcefully decided to stay out of the race.Fortunately, the logic was consistent with past statements these many months that he has a job to do in New Jersey, he can’t leave that job unfinished, and he’s not going to walk away from the people who elected him. He has a loyalty to the state of New Jersey. In the end, he said, “Now is not my time.” No one will know that for sure, but if that’s what the governor believes, then he is right. I think he showed a lot of character in his news conference. And Chris Christie is full of good character.

Michelle Malkin seems tired of the Christie buzz: “Christie is now 30 minutes into his ‘No, I’m not running, but I’ll bask in the national spotlight for just a wee bit longer’ press conference. Alas, there is no Gong Show gong to bring this thing to a merciful close. Christopher J. Christie, will you please go NOW?”

But at Ace of Spades, Gabe Malor notices that Christie didn’t keep anyone waiting a minute longer than promised: “Note that unlike the President, Christie managed to show up just when he said he would.”