In case you were wondering whether Doug Schoen has completely lost his mind, Schoen clarifies the matter by declaring that the chief beneficiary of Chris Christie's deciding not to run for president is Herman Cain: I had a chance to hear Herman Cain live and in person last night at the Monday Meeting in New York City.
And so it ends—not with a bang, but a wimp-out. Chris Christie, who had become the most courted reluctant Republican since Dwight Eisenhower, permanently closed the door Tuesday afternoon on a 2012 White House run: “Now is not my time. I have a commitment to New Jersey that I just can’t abandon.” A self-described “regular guy from New Jersey,” Christie exudes more self-confidence than even Rick Perry out shooting coyotes.
We’re at a very strange juncture in the 2012 presidential contest. Rick Perry continues to struggle, as Mitt Romney savagely exploits his offensive-to-conservatives position on immigration and the Texan deals with new, potentially damaging revelations of a racially insensitive name for a hunting camp rented by his family. But Romney’s not benefitting much in the polls, and he remains a persona non grata to many conservatives.
A little over four years ago, a pair of wealthy businessmen made a foray into presidential politics on behalf of a charismatic, tough-talking, blue state Republican. Home Depot co-founder Ken Langone volunteered his considerable talents as fundraising chair of the candidate’s leadership PAC, while hedge fund billionaire Paul E. Singer served as the campaign’s east coast chairman. Charmed by the politician’s law and order bona fides, pro-business conservatism, and swing state appeal, the two billionaires helped raise an impressive $60.9 million dollars for their candidate in 2007.
The window for Chris Christie to climb through just got even narrower (and no, that's not a catty reference -- I'm not joining this debate just yet.) The South Carolina Republican Party announced today that, in reaction to Florida moving its primary to Jan. 31, the state would hold its primary on Saturday, Jan. 21. This means that the nominating calendar is going to be pushed back even earlier than many were predicting after Florida's move.
Dissatisfaction with a subpar field of presidential candidates has turned Republican eyes towards a potential new savior: Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey. The growing speculation has been accompanied by discussion of Christie’s considerable girth.
The people have spoken. Averaging the 19 estimates offered by readers in TNR's comment section for this blog--including one that, annoyingly, required me to convert from kilograms to pounds--I arrive at a crowd-sourced weight estimate for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie: 334 pounds. I initially planned to lower the mean figure by 10 points to correct for liberal bias. But on reflection I think there are probably two biases at work here. One is the liberal one, which would drive the estimates up. The other is a demographic one, which would drive the estimates down.
Michael Kinsley, my friend and former boss at the New Republic and Slate, has a Bloomberg column today arguing that Chris Christie's fatness is a legitimate issue in judging his fitness (no pun intended) to be president. Paul Campos, a law professor at the University of Colorado, argues elsewhere on this Web site that it isn't a legitimate issue, or, if it is, it isn't clear whether it's a minus or a plus. I take a more scientific approach to this question.
This weekend in Little Rock, Bill Clinton and an all-star cast of political alumni will celebrate the twentieth anniversary of his formal entry into the 1992 presidential race. But the candidate decision that did the most to bequeath Clinton the Democratic nomination did not occur until December 20, 1991.
Is Chris Christie too fat to be elected president? Amid reports that the New Jersey governor has become the latest choice of the anybody-but-Romney movement to try to derail the remarkably tenacious Mormon, Christie’s waistline has once again become a national news story. All the anxieties currently being attached to the governor’s weight, however, are likely overblown.