Apparently undaunted by previous failures to lure Gov. Chris Christie into the presidential field, a group of GOP fundraisers are meeting with the governor in Manhattan today in a last-ditch attempt to persuade him, according to Politico’s Mike Allen.
The latest contingent is being led by billionaire Home Depot founder and former New York Stock Exchange director Ken Langone, who is one of the most sought-after financial backers for Republican presidential candidates. Langone has always been a big Giuliani guy – he was one of the largest bundlers for the former mayor’s 1997 campaign – which may explain his affinity for Christie, who is often compared to a young Giuliani.
Langone’s meeting with Christie also raises questions about how serious Giuliani is about getting into the race. The former New York mayor has hinted at a bid, but it’s notable that one of his top supporters (Langone was Giuliani’s NYC finance chair in 2008) is looking elsewhere.
After Giuliani dropped out of the 2008 presidential race and endorsed Sen. John McCain, Langone switched to supporting McCain as well. Like many of McCain’s top donors, he apparently hasn’t yet settled on a candidate for 2012. While Christie has said outright he’s not running for president, just the fact that he’s taking this meeting shows he’s leaving the door open to some extent. And if he does have presidential aspirations, the time to run might be now, when his political cache could potentially be at its peak.