Memo to Iowa GOP: Christie's Not Running

Is the current crop of potential Republican candidates for president really so weak that some Iowa GOP donors feel it’s necessary to beg a half-term governor to run in 2012?

Some of Iowa’s top Republican campaign contributors, unhappy with their choices in the developing presidential field, are venturing to New Jersey in hopes they can persuade first-term Gov. Chris Christie to run. The entreaty is the latest sign of dissatisfaction within the GOP over the crop of candidates competing for the chance to run against President Barack Obama in 2012.

Bruce Rastetter, an Iowa energy company executive, and a half-dozen other prominent Iowa GOP donors sought the meeting with Christie, the governor’s chief political adviser, Mike DuHaime, told The Associated Press. The get-together is set for the governor’s mansion in Princeton, N.J., on May 31.

This simply feeds into the perception that the GOP cannot field someone who can successfully take on Barack Obama 18 months from now. Naturally, the media will gladly promote this as a sign of widespread dissatisfaction with the current candidates and how Obama is unbeatable. It’s even gotten ridiculous enough that supposedly knowledgable political writers are saying Ron Paul has a chance to win the nomination.

While Christie is an attractive candidate nationally and outsiders think he’s electable because he’s won in a blue Northeast state, let’s get real. He’s been Governor of New Jersey for 16 months. He was elected here in New Jersey to clean up the horrific financial mess left by the Jon Corzine and his predecessors. He’s made some headway and become popular by taking on the unions, but can we at least let him serve a full term and be re-elected before anointing him as the GOP’s national savior?

Some might argue the current occupant of the White House had little experience before embarking on his 2008 campaign, and that’s true. But do we want to copy that model? Look  where Obama’s inexperience has led us and ask yourself if you want to go down that road. Granted, Christie would be an enormous improvement over Obama, as would most of the current crop of candidates. But it does a disservice to the voters of New Jersey and to Christie himself to put such pressure on him, especially when he’s repeatedly said he won’t be running. So why not focus elsewhere?

This morning Christie once again said he won’t be running. How many times must he repeat himself?

“I’m a kid from Jersey who has people asking him to run for president, I’m thrilled by it. I just don’t want to do it.”

Sounds unequivocal to me. So why not listen to what the man is saying? It’s not as if he believes the GOP is doomed next year.

Christie said as a political observer he doesn’t think President Barack Obama has a safe ride to reelection.

“I see a pathway to victory for a Republican candidate in 2012,” Christie said.

Some see a momentary spike in popularity for Obama following the killing of Osama bin Laden and get jittery. Many see that disappearing before long, especially when there’s little good economic news on the horizon. Before the initial GOP debate last Thursday few thought that event would amount to anything. Yet I saw a fine showing by a couple of candidates (Cain and Pawlenty come to mind) who weren’t afraid to tell it like it is where Obama is concerned. Let’s just let the candidates announce, have more debates and begin the primary season. Have faith the GOP can field a good candidate.

Showing desperation at this point is self-defeating.