Chris Christie for president? Only a little more than a year into his governorship in New Jersey, the state’s former U.S. Attorney is described in this Sunday’s New York Times Magazine by Matt Bai as one of the most intriguing political figures in America.
Hundreds of thousands of YouTube viewers linger on scenes from the Republican governor’s town-hall meetings, Bai says in an article that suggests that at least The Times’ editors are taking his president possibilities seriously. Newly elected governors — not just Republicans, Christie says, but also Democrats — call to seek his counsel on how to confront their own staggering budget deficits and intractable unions.
At a recent gathering of Republican governors, Christie attracted a throng of supporters and journalists as he strode through the halls of the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel like Bono at Davos.
While Christie has flatly ruled out a presidential run in 2012, there is enough conjecture about the possibility that Bai said he felt moved to ask him a few weeks ago if he found it exhausting to have to constantly answer the same question.
“Listen, if you’re going to say you’re exhausted by that, you’re really taking yourself too seriously,” Christie told Bai, and then broke into his imitation of a politician who is taking himself too seriously. “ ‘Oh, Matt, please, stop asking me about whether I should be president of the United States! The leader of the free world! Please stop! I’m exhausted by the question!’
“I mean, come on. If I get to that point, just slap me around, because that’s really presumptuous. What it is to me is astonishing, not exhausting.”