One More (Last?) Time: Chris Christie Is Not Running For President, But I Wish He Was
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie spoke at the American Enterprise Institute today and, inevitably, the Presidential question came up:
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) said he doesn’t feel ready to make a run for the White House and ruled out a bid in 2012.
Christie was in Washington on Wednesday for a speech to the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank.
He issued a sharp warning to Washington lawmakers that they can no longer ignore the growth of entitlement programs and the federal deficit. But the first question Christie got from reporters when his address ended was whether he would seek the presidency next year.
“Well, that took a long time, didn’t it?” the governor said.
“Listen, I threatened to commit suicide, I did, I said, ‘what can I do short of suicide to convince people I’m not running?'” Christie said. “Apparently, I actually have to commit suicide to convince people I’m not running.”
He continued, “You have to feel in your heart and in your mind that you’re ready for the presidency. And there are lots of people who will run just because the opportunity presents itself.
“That’s not a reason to be president of the United States,” Christie said. “You have to believe in your heart and in your soul and in your mind that you are ready and I don’t believe that about myself right now. So that’s why I said I won’t run and I can’t imagine that changing.”
It’s actually refreshing to hear a politician talk like this, rather than prevaricate or pretend that they are more qualified for the highest office in the land than they actually are. In fact, I think a large part of Christie’s appeal is the fact that he is so plain spoken not only on issues like this but also on fiscal issues and the need for politicians to tackle the problems the country faces. It’s partly because he’s a son of New Jersey, but I don’t think it’s too far a stretch to say that we haven’t seen a prominent national politician of his type in quite some time. It’s only natural that people might think of him running for President. But he’s said he’s not ready, and that he wants to finish the job he was a elected to in New Jersey, both of which are admirable qualities that other politicians would do well to emulate.
Perhaps more importantly, though. Christie said that his wife would “kill him” if he changed his mind about running at this point. Smart man to recognize that if the wife isn’t happy, nobody’s happy.