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September 26, 2011

Chris Christie: No

No flip-flops for The Big Man. Alas.

Despite some intense lobbying by wealthy Republican donors (especially those in the culturally-copacetic Northeast and California), Christie's aides say that no means no.

Mr. Christie's aides say the governor hasn't budged from his months-long insistence that he won't enter the presidential fray, despite what one described as a "relentless" stream of calls over the last week from prominent Republicans urging him to run.

"None of that triggers any new thinking on his part," said one Christie adviser. "He's very polite to these people: 'Thank you for calling. That's very flattering. I'll let you know.' And I think they interpret that, 'Ah-ha! A rethinking.' "

A speech Mr. Christie will deliver Tuesday evening at the Ronald Reagan presidential library in California has nonetheless intensified speculation about the governor's intentions. Aides insist he won't use the appearance to make any surprise announcement.


"Some in the conservative movement are still searching for Mr. or Ms. Wonderful," said one person who moves in Christie fund-raising circles. "But Christie is a guy who through his whole career has said what he means, and he has said no."

Christie's aides say that national-stage appearances are just "organic outreach" (whatever that means) and not an attempt to build support for a run.

Just a Thought: One of the reasons cited for Christie not getting in is that he wouldn't have time to properly prepare, and would, like Perry, come out rickety in debates.

I have a weird idea for Christie on this point (and it would have worked for Perry, too): Try the truth.

What is wrong with saying, shortly after you've gotten in, "I don't yet have a good answer to that question. I'm still being briefed. I know that presidential candidates are supposed to come out of the box with positions on everything, but frankly, that's just not true. It requires some prepping and thinking, and I confess I haven't yet come to a good conclusion on this issue."

Bonus points if you then say, "But let me give you my sense of it," and then repeat the standard-issue bullet-points on the issue, which is frankly what your opponents are doing anyway, so it seems like your "off the top of my head" thinking is equal to or better than other candidates' scripted answers.

Sometimes the truth "works." Sometimes people like hearing the truth.

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posted by Ace at 12:09 PM

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