This has been one of those weeks on the Christie beat when you wonder: Could he? Is he? Will he?
Several occurrences, taken together, could make the more gullible amongst us believe that the Garden State governor is on the verge of announcing his candidacy for the president of the United States:
- The speaking schedule. Yesterday, as I reported here, Christie hosted fellow not-running-for-president-Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana, and the two offered some mild criticism of the current GOP field of presidential contenders. On Tuesday, Christie is scheduled to make a speech about "perspectives on leadership" at the GOP Holy Of Holies, aka The Reagan Library, in California. He's also scheduled to be in Missouri and Louisiana, campaigning and fundraising for the party.
- The alleged foreign policy dinners. A column in the Wall Street Journal says that Christie has been seeking advice and having dinner with foreign policy experts. Unless Trenton is invading Damascus some time soon, foreign policy experience isn't really needed in Christie's current day job.
- The new ad. A new $1.5 million pro-Christie ad campaign, sponsored at least in part by Christie's University of Delaware classmates, dropped this week and it looks/sounds/feels, as I wrote earlier this week, like a presidential campaign ad. The opening scene is of the capitol building -- in Washington.
- The prediction markets. A Yahoo article this week said the "prediction markets" have Christie at 4.7 percent chance of winning the nomination. That puts him in FOURTH PLACE among Republicans -- and he hasn't even campaigned for anything yet.
- The game plan. The Washington Post's conservative columnist, Jennifer Rubin, laid out a game plan (where did it come from?) for how Christie would announce his candidacy: "He announces at an event featuring former Florida governor Jeb Bush, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani. The GOP all-stars explain that they’ve gone on bended knee to the one person they think can unite the party, win in the general election and make the hard calls to return us to fiscal sanity and revive American prosperity. They all pledge to raise money and provide policy advice to Christie."
Of course, none of this means anything. He says he's not running. It just makes you go, hmmm...