Yesterday, Chris Christie confirmed that he was not going to be running for the job of President of the United States (at least not in 2012). But with Christie confirming what he's been saying for ages, where does that leave political pundits? Licking their wounds and reviewing the tape. And luckily, yesterday's press conference had lots of good tape to review!
The presser, in brief: Was Christie's wife, Pat, the reason he didn't run? Nope. ("Three weeks ago, Mary Pat woke me up at six o’clock in the morning and said, ‘If you want to run, go for it. Go for it and don’t worry about me and the kids.’") Did Nancy Reagan push Christie to run? Maybe. He wouldn't say more than that the that reporting of that episode was "careless." Is he really sure he isn't running? Yes...in 2012. Is it because he hasn't finished his first term as governor of Jersey? A little bit. ("In the end, my commitment to the state is what overrode everything else.")
Meanwhile, the reactions to Christie's decision have been legion. New York actor Alec Baldwin is happy he isn't running ("Now Chris Christie and I can hang out," he tweeted) while local GOPers seem to just be happy about the attention Christie's non-run has brought to the Garden State ("Serious people are now taking us seriously. That’s a massive shift in credibility from where we were before this governor was sworn in," Republican Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon said).
And Alec Baldwin isn't the only Democrat who seems to genuinely like the off-the-cuff, witty and seemingly unscripted schtick that Christie offers. Just look at the way Jon Stewart gushed over him in his recap of Christie's presser:
But of course, some Democrats are using the occasion to make jabs: Democratic Assemblyman John Wisniewski told the Ledger,"I believe on a national stage, one reason he pulled the plug on a presidential campaign (is) that he came to the reality that many of us have already come to: that you can’t run successfully for president if you don’t have a successful record as governor." (Perhaps that is why Palin hasn't thrown her hat in the ring yet?) And Wisniewski wasn't alone in arguing that Christie's short record has been blurred in the national spotlight. Politifact and the Times both took time out yesterday to point out holes in Christie's record. As the Times put it, "Mr. Christie has presided over nothing like a New Jersey Miracle. It’s a scripted mirage."
Finally, for good measure, here's how one Stephen Colbert responded to the news that Christie would not be running for president (yet):