New Jersey governor and all-but-anointed Obama-slayer Chris Christie gave a speech at the Reagan Library (let Gary Sinise give you a tour!) in California last night [pdf] that oozed Oval Office, despite his persistent denials that he is considering a run. Speaking of the president's performance, Christie said, "This is not a leadership style, this is a reelection strategy," neglecting to mention that he had spent the afternoon at a $15,000-a-plate luncheon. "We watch a Congress at war with itself because they are unwilling to leave campaign style politics at the Capitol's door…We still continue to wait and hope that our president will finally stop being a bystander in the Oval Office."
After the speech, Christie fielded questions about his possible candidacy by directing the audience to Politico's compilation of his "No" answers. One supporter said, "My Italian mother said you gotta run for president." The mother also reportedly said that Christie was looking "a little weak" and needed to "take some of this ziti home." Christie gave his stock answer to this plea: "That heartfelt message you gave me is also not a reason for me to do it. That reason has to reside inside me alone."
Christie has said many times in the past that political ambition resides "inside" someone, and that the governor just doesn't feel it yet. To FOX News, he compared it to "a feeling inside, as to whether you're ready to take on the challenge of running and governing." We've obtained exclusive video of the type of specific signal that Christie is looking for.
Christie's own brother claiming that he won't run still isn't enough to keep the GOP establishment and the billionaires at bay: another source tells ABC news that Todd Christie's comments were "a little out of turn." This means that Todd Christie will not be allowed to ride shotgun in Marine One until President Christie's second term.