Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted in one moment
Would you capture it or just let it slip?
- Eminem, “Lose Yourself”
Amid all the buzz about New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) possibly changing his mind about a presidential run, Decoder has been firmly planted in the skeptic camp.
We see a host of reasons it would be an uphill climb: It’s awfully late (the first ballot deadline is Oct 31), Christie has said “no” in about every way possible (including telling Diane Sawyer he doesn’t think he’s ready for the job), and, for all his straight-talking appeal, Christie isn’t exactly a perfect fit with the GOP base (he’s a Northeastern governor who was once pro-choice).
On MSNBC this morning, Joe Scarborough got us thinking: ”If Christie doesn’t run this time,” he argued, “there will be no next time.” If Christie waits four years (assuming Republicans lose in 2012), he could very well be competing against GOP stars like former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush or Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. More to the point, whatever lightning in a bottle Christie seems to have captured right now on the national stage almost certainly won’t last. That means this is probably his best shot.
It reminds us in some ways of the national buzz surrounding then-Sen. Barack Obama, before he actually entered the race back in 2007 (though Obama entered far earlier in the cycle). Much of the initial demurring coming from the Obama camp was along the lines of what Christie has been saying: He wasn’t ready, he had just been elected, he was focusing on the job at hand.
In fact, we remember having exactly this conversation with Obama’s communications director Robert Gibbs in early 2006, trying to get a hint out of him: It was Obama’s “moment,” we posited, and when that moment comes, you have to grab it, right? He smiled, and demurred.
And then, Obama got in.