In an interview with Newsweek’s Peter Boyer, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie pondered whether he missed his shot to run for president in 2012. “I don’t know, I guess only the future will tell that,” he said, insisting that he had no regrets. “If I missed my moment, I missed my moment. I mean, I wasn’t pining to be president of the United States.”
Christie told Boyer that he passed on running in 2012 — despite a flurry of calls to run against what was perceived as a weak Republican field — after a dinner conversation with his family last October. Boyer writes that it may have been the “most consequential vote of the political season.”
Christie opened the matter to a family discussion, asking each of his four children and his wife, Mary Pat, whether they thought he should run for president. “It was really interesting, because none of them wanted me to run,” Christie recalls. His children and wife all said they were ready, if Christie wanted to try for it, but “none of them, around the table, wanted me to run.”
Christie himself didn’t answer Andrew’s question until after he and Mary Pat had put the kids to bed. “I don’t want to do it,” he finally told her. “It doesn’t feel right to me. If I do this, I just feel like I’d be second-guessing myself the entire time I was out there, and I can’t do it that way.”
Much of Boyle’s piece questions whether Christie’s best chance has passed. It mirrors former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s sentiments a couple weeks ago. But Christie’s situation is different, because he is an active governor and plans to run for re-election next year.
First, it could be a tougher re-election fight than expected. Christie is as popular as ever in Democratic-heavy New Jersey — a Rutgers-Eagleton poll released last week put him at 50 per cent — but key Democratic allies are beginning to turn away. Stephen Sweeney, the most prominent Democratic ally in the state legislature, is pining for a U.S. Senate seat in 2013. Boyer points out that some Democrats are starting to publicly denounce Christie’s so-called “Jersey Comeback.”
And that’s all before a New York Times report was released Saturday off a deep investigation of a Newark halfway house. It details how 1,300 inmates have escaped the halfway house since Christie took office. Moreover, there is little state oversight of a company with deep ties to Christie that runs the halfway house.
Christie, though, is still among the perceived front-runners to be Mitt Romney’s Republican running mate this fall. He wasn’t as dismissive of the potential nod to Newsweek as he has been in the past:
“I don’t know how I’ll react if the call comes. I suspect I’ll say I’d rather stay here. But it depends on what Mitt Romney says to me. I suspect that, between Mitt Romney and I, it wouldn’t just be, ‘Do you wanna do it or not?’ I suspect that that would be a conversation. And I think a lot would depend upon that conversation.”
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