Chris Christie and two-faced Obama shake hands at Newark International Airport. AP Photo via Politico 44
Even though Christie has said on numerous occasions, in no uncertain terms, he. will. not. be running, (“Short of suicide, I don’t really know what I’d have to do to convince you people that I’m not running. I’m not running,” he’s insisted), the Obama camp is spending resources trawling for dirt on the Republican rock-star governor.
The NY Post reports:
The Obama campaign is trying to keep its efforts from public view, concerned they would only elevate Christie’s already impressive standing within the Republican Party, sources said.
The operatives have chosen not to dispatch their own people to New Jersey, but instead are talking to people there and in New York who know Christie from his time in the governor’s office, as a gubernatorial candidate and as US attorney.
Obama’s campaign manager, Jim Messina, did not respond to messages.
That would be Jim, “we will punch them back twice as hard” Messina. Only they’re not “punching back”, they are on the offensive against a man who has never been anything but cordial with the president.
Of rumors that Christie is considering a run, a “flattered” Christie spokesman said:
“This is just wishful thinking . . . He is not running, and he is not cracking the door open even a little bit.”
On the one hand, this looks like mind-games: Democrats are trying to mess with Republicans’ heads, to promote the notion that Team Obama is unbeatable even by the GOP elite’s “dream candidate.” On the other hand, the fear of a ferocious Chicago-style attack is very real, as the New York Times obliquely notes in its story on Mitch Daniels’ decision:
Saying that his family did not want to go through a campaign, Mr. Daniels became the third high-profile Republican in eight days to choose not to compete for the chance to challenge Mr. Obama. . . .
But after weeks of deliberating in public and making clear that his wife and four daughters had deep reservations — caused in part by the knowledge that they would be exposed to intensive scrutiny over a period in the 1990s when Mr. Daniels and his wife, Cheri, divorced and then remarried — he said he was unsuccessful in swaying his family.