Commentary Magazine


Christie Doesn’t Shut Door to 2012 Run

He didn’t say “yes” last night. But then again, he didn’t explicitly say “no.” And judging from the reactions on Twitter, Chris Christie’s answer on whether he’ll run for president is open to interpretation:

“I saw something great today on the Politico website. They put a minute and 53 seconds of my answers strung back to back to back together on the question of running for the presidency,” he said. “Everyone go to, it’s right on the front page. Those are the answers.”

The video is a compilation of every time Christie’s answered the 2012 question. In most of the clips, he bluntly denies he’s contemplating a run. He also told the audience – which was literally begging him to enter the race – that he knows he has to “feel” the desire to run for president before he can do it, and that he’s “taking in” what his supporters are telling him.

But his response didn’t include three words: “I’m not running.” Those would have quelled (most of the) speculation that’s been growing the past few days. Instead, by directing people to a video, he managed to keep the uncertainty alive – and he had to have been aware of that. As Maggie Haberman notes, “pointing to it was a way for Christie to not have to give a current version of ‘no.’”

At HotAir, Allahpundit writes that left Christie with a great opening, should he decide to enter the race:

The thing is, he wouldn’t definitively say whether he feels the drive or not. And the crowd was simply eating out of his hand. If he needs a pretext in a week or two to explain why he’s changed his mind, he could point to this speech and the reaction from the audience as having driven him to it.

A few indications Christie might be weighing a run: 1.) His blatant swipes at Rick Perry during his speech; 2.) His uncharacteristic vagueness in responding to the 2012 question; 3.) The speech itself, which outlined a broad national vision (touching on foreign and domestic policy) and included plenty of digs at Obama. It was also terrific (read in full here).