Listen very hard and you can hear the sound of Ann Coulter’s heart breaking.
Over the past year, relations between Christie and Romney have been warm, but they have not become especially close, sources say. It’s more of a mutual respect, rather than a friendship. Christie, for what it’s worth, relishes being governor and is planning to run for reelection next year. If asked, he would almost certainly say yes, out of a sense of duty to party and country, but he is not waiting by the phone with bated breath, and he does not expect to be asked. The governor, more than anyone, knows that he doesn’t fit Boston’s VP mold. He’s too frank, too much an executive-type leader, and too extemporaneous. In short, veteran Trenton hands say, this latest boomlet is Beltway buzz from Christie fans, probably nothing more.
Costa’s sources don’t say that he’s definitively out, just that the odds are long; meanwhile, one of Christie’s top political advisors in New Jersey just announced that he’s headed to the RNC for a “senior advisory role” for the rest of the year. Hmmmmm.
The nastier Obama and Harry Reid get, the more I share Geraghty’s gut desire for a VP who’ll go out there and throw roundhouses. It’d be viscerally satisfying, but it’d also damage Romney’s strategy of making the election a referendum on Obamanomics. That’s what makes the VP pick so fascinating: He’s at a crossroads here. Either he goes all-in on the idea that voters are prepared to elect “Not Obama” due to despair over the economy, in which case he picks a boring VP like Portman or Pawlenty, or he concludes that an economic argument against O simply isn’t enough anymore and brings in someone who’ll help reframe the election. Christie, like Ryan, would put entitlements front and center, for better or worse, but he’d also probably be tasked with responding to — and sometimes initiating — the sort of nasty, peripheral, distracting attacks we’re seeing with Reid’s tax-return smear and Obama’s steelworker-cancer ad. Can Romney win a campaign like that? Even with Christie (or some other attack-dog VP) taking off the gloves every day, I’m not sure the final scene to that movie is a bunch of undecideds concluding that it’s time to roll the dice on President Romney.
Via Mediaite, here’s Bill Kristol yesterday on Fox predicting that Thursday could be the day. National Journal is skeptical, noting that a bunch of VP contenders are traveling with Romney this weekend such that a vice presidential rollout might be … awkward. I don’t know. It’d be a major show of unity to have all the shortlisters together standing behind the ticket. Especially if Romney does, as expected, stick with a boring pick whom conservatives that aren’t that jazzed about.