In a last ditch effort to woo the man who hates renewable energy, loves helicopter rides, and is probably totally stoned right now, to run for president in 2012, GOP bigwigs (including the co-founder of The Home Depot, Ken Langone) held a meeting in Manhattan yesterday with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Around 50 people were in attendance either in person or on the phone, and Christie even brought his eldest son to watch the proceedings. Like most love stories, this one ends in heartbreak, with Christie all but slamming the door on bailing out the Republicans from spending money on and nominating any of these people.

According to Politico, Christie "impressed the audience with his emphasis on family and commitment, and flashes of disarming humor." Here's a "paraphrase" of Christie's 2012 swan song from one of the attendees:

I’m not running, but I came because Langone is so aggressive, he basically just physically shook me into doing it. I’ve weighed this carefully; I didn’t dismiss it out of hand. There were four considerations: One question was: Where’s my wife? She’s not enthused.

The second is: I looked ahead at the potential for two years of running, and not seeing my kids. If I won, six years of not seeing them. If I won a second term, 10 years of not seeing them. Missing my kids growing up is a big deal to me, and it was a big reason. The wife was the biggest. The children were the second.

I’m staying in New Jersey. I am not just going to quit halfway through my term. The people trusted me, and I feel like I owe that trust and faith some fidelity.
And fourth: Could I win? Could I really do it? I think I would win - not saying I would win, but I could win.

I brought my oldest son today because, first of all, I wanted him to wake up early. And, second of all, to have to put on his one suit and tie. But I wanted him to listen because if I did run, which I’m not going to - but if I did in the future - it’s going to affect him. There’s six people in the family - I’m just one. I recognize that not all of you would immediately commit, but it certainly makes me realize that if I were to run, and had this group were behind me, I certainly wouldn’t have any problem raising money.

David Hawkings at CQ didn't need Christie's performance to determine that he wouldn't be running next year. In confirming the legality of New Jersey's medical marijuana program yesterday, Christie said his "desire all along has to bring compassionate care to the people who need it the most." Hawkings notes, "That is quite simply not a sound bite that would sell among the base of conservative voters in GOP primary and caucus states."

It also doesn't help that Christie's approval rating in his home state continues to plummet. As of yesterday polling [pdf] indicated that it was just 43 percent compared to the 53 percent who disapproved of his job as governor. But there's always 2016, which is shaping up to be a Cuomo/Christie clash of the titans.