As the political world awaits his decision, Chris Christie has been keeping a close counsel of family and a small group of trusted advisors. I have been told to expect his decision within days — but nothing more specific than that.
Two top Republican donors — people who would be called into action to help with the herculean task of raising the money Christie would need to mount a campaign on such short notice — tell me they have heard nothing from Christie. As one emailed this afternoon, “Major donors are teed up, but still no word.”
Christie had an event honoring the New Jersey National Guard today, but did not respond to shouted questions. The only thing on Christie’s schedule for Monday is the swearing-in of a Judge in Paterson at 4:30 p.m. It’s an open event, but the schedule says, “no availability.”
Florida’s decision to move up the date of its primary to January 31 would make Christie’s late start all the more daunting. On Friday, New Hampshire’s GOP chairman said he would not rule out moving their primary to December.
Even if New Hampshire and Iowa opt for early January, Christie would have to build a national organization and raise tens of millions of dollars in a matter of weeks — all while getting prepared on national and international issues so he doesn’t pull a Rick Perry in the debates.
None of this means Christie, with so many major donors promising help, can’t do it — as one Republican operative not affiliated with Christie put it, “it’s almost like a cup of soup. Pour in water and voila: a presidential campaign” — but it makes it incredibly difficult. He might just be right when he says he is not ready.