Saturday, October 1, 2011

Christie Set to Run?

After months of avoiding the issue, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is finally giving some serious thought to the idea of throwing his hat into the ring for a GOP presidential run; and could make his decision next week, The Post has reported. The announcement may come as early as Monday, said sources familiar with Christie’s thinking. The renewed consideration about a White House run came after prodding this week from some Republicans he idolizes, as well as a Republican field that has been struggling to put forward a clear front-runner, creating an opening.

Only the pugnacious, popular Christie could pull off such a complete 180 from his blustering denial of interest less than a year ago. Republican insiders familiar with Christie's thinking about a presidential bid are now putting the odds of him running at 50-50, telling CBS News there's a "decent chance" he will get in. If Christie rules it out, as one insider said, it's because he will see too many potential roadblocks in his path to the Republican nomination.

Insiders say Christie is ready to put a presidential campaign together “pretty fast.”
And he’d have to, since filing deadlines for key primary ballots are just weeks off.
Months ago, his top advisers roughed out a finance plan that could be put into play immediately, insiders said. The heightened buzz has Washington Republicans worked up too. If Christie decides to run he would be a formidable force in uniting the base of the GOP and winning over independents. His candidacy may not be a lock on the White House, but his positive effect on the race

It may be too late for Christie to make a competitive run. Running an effective campaign for president takes years of preparation and planning and is difficult to create this late in the game. Raising the money needed would also be a daunting task for Christie. The filing deadline for the Florida primary is the end of next month, and Christie would need to put together a campaign team and fund raising

apparatus within a matter of weeks if he decides to get in. And he could have a hard time keeping up with Mitt Romney and Rick Perry in fund raising when he does get in, since he'll have to focus on developing a national platform and prepare for debates and interviews.

It's also unknown how rank-and-file Republicans will respond to Christie, who holds moderate views on bedrock conservative issues like gun control, civil unions, and immigration that will make it hard for him to compete in the first-in-the-nation voting state of Iowa. But Christie would also enter the race with serious advantages, including the strong support of wealthy northeastern donors and a brash, confrontational style that makes many Republicans swoon.

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