Christie has repeatedly denied having any interest in seeking the presidency in 2012, which, of course, is what any rational person seeking the presidency would do at this stage of the game. But the Jersey guv has also pooh poohed the idea of being a vice presidential candidate, saying, pretty convincingly, that it would be hard to imagine him being somebody else's Number 2.
Ross Baker, a Rutgers University politial science professor and longtime observer of Jersey politics, doesn't quite believe the second denial.
"I don't think this guy is looking at the presidency, I think he’s waiting to be put on the ticket as a V.P.," Baker said in an interview this week. In 2012, Ross said, the Republicans will likely have a very conservative candidate for President so they will be looking for a more moderate Republican to balance the ticket. Christie has won conservative admirers for his cost-cutting ways, but is more moderate on a variety of issues, including immigration and some environmental issues. Christie would also be a plus geographically for some of the current shortlisters, including Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee.
"I really do think that's the main shot that's going to come along for him," Baker said. "That's the scenario I've believed for a long time."
Baker is not alone. Mitchell Blumenthal, a former New York Times editor, writes in a piece for Capital New York web site that Christie is "working like hell to become the favorite, obvious, choice for vice president in 2012."
Blumenthal says, "there’s a strong argument to be made that Christie’s personality — stinging and combative, with a got-a-problem-with-that-asshole Jersey swagger — is much better suited to vice president than president in the first place."
Still, a Zogby poll released this week put Christie head to head with Romney as one of the early, early favorites in the Republican field for the top job, so stay tuned.
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