Turns out those eight or nine thousand denials he’s issued over the past year about running for president were on the level. Who knew?

Tonight’s the big speech at the Reagan Library (you can read excerpts here), at which I assume he’ll be dealing with this subject once and for all. The good news? Our long national nightmare of baseless Christie speculation is almost over. The bad news? Our new national nightmare of baseless Jeb Bush speculation is soon to begin.

Chris Christie say he has finally made a definitive decision, once and for all, not to run for president in 2012, sources close to the New Jersey governor told Fox News on Tuesday.

Despite the intensity that has heightened in recent days as the New Jersey governor prepares to deliver a speech Tuesday at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, several people close to the governor insist he has not changed his mind to forego a presidential bid…

[A] source close to the governor says the fundraisers have been planned for months and do not indicate a change in his attitude towards a 2012 run. And another source told Fox News that the Kean story is “off-base.”

The latest Christie insider to stake his reputation on the belief that he’s not running: Christie’s own brother, who told a Jersey newspaper today, “I’m sure that he’s not going to run. If he’s lying to me, I’ll be as stunned as I’ve ever been in my life.” Me too. Why would he run? He’s not a natural fit for conservatives nationally. Plus, he’s enjoying a surge of popularity at home so re-election as governor is still very much a possibility. He’s no dummy. Better to sit tight, keep working on state pension reforms, and execute a few patented Romney-esque flip-flops on hot-button national issues over the next few years so that he’s well positioned for 2016.

So then: Everyone happy with Romney and Perry as the choice? Fantastic.

Update: As soon as I hit “publish,” ABC dropped this. Unbelievable.

A source close to Chris Christie says we should disregard what the New Jersey governor’s brother said about Christie’s plans (or lack thereof) for 2012…

When it comes to Christie’s thinking on a presidential run, instead of listening to Christie’s brother, the source says we should look at what former New Jersey Governor Tom Kean had to say yesterday…

“As of this time, his public statements that he is not running still stand,” the source tells ABC News. “It is also accurate that he is thinking about it and reconsidering it.”

He’d better say something tonight to clear this up once and for all.

Update: Ridiculous.

“I’m sure that he’s not going to run,” Todd Christie said told the newspaper. “If he’s lying to me, I’ll be as stunned as I’ve ever been in my life.”

But people close to the governor say Mr. Christie was not totally immune to the flattery and that his brother’s statement was more definitive than it should have been.

Over the last week, the governor has told donors and others that he will give fresh consideration to a presidential run. A Republican close to Mr. Christie said Tuesday that the governor had not changed his mind but had begun to “reconsider” his absolute refusal.