Everyone is hoping Chris Christie will run for president in 2012--everyone meaning political reporters who like to have interesting people to write about and think Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney is just a huge yawn. Christie visited the the American Enterprise Institute and gave an extremely well-reviewed speech in which he denied presidential aspirations, The New York Times' Jeff Zeleny writes, while maybe testing out whether Americans outside New Jersey can handle his pugnacious style. Example: he made a suicide joke.
Christie said that national leaders have to do big things, and that President Obama's proposals for high-speed rail and Internet were political "candy," a dodging of critical issues like the budget deficit and entitlements. "We're on a path to ruin," Christie said. "You can't fix these problems if you don't talk about them."
He also said that though he sees an opportunity to run, he knows he's not ready yet. "Apparently, I actually have to commit suicide to convince people I’m not running," Christie said. Even his denials of presidential aspirations are being considered signs of his eligibility. Politico's Kendra Marr reports that political analysts found Christie's admission that he wasn't ready "powerful" and a impressively transparent. "With just one impressive speech, Chris Christie put three full days of CPAC speakers to shame," Marr raves.
Reporters then seemed to be holding an informal contest to see who could praise Christie the most effusively:
"The free-wheeling, hour-long speech was delivered by the first-term New Jersey governor without a prepared text and with a natural ease at the podium, and it is sure to elevate the din surrounding the Republican’s presidential prospects," adds Marr's colleague Maggie Haberman.
"His refusal to join [other states in suing to block health care reform] in suggests a degree of pragmatism that is attractive to non-true believers. This is a guy who has focused his message of change, and is clear about what he stands for. This is distinct from Obama's message of change, which meant different things to different people in 2008 and left almost everybody disappointed," The Daily Beast's Eleanor Clift writes.
"I think Chris Christie is terrific. Here's a guy whose tough talk is matched up by tough action," The Washington Post's Jonathan Capehart said on MSNBC.
The word is in: Christie, these folks definitely want you to run.