Top Iowa GOP donors trying to talk Chris Christie into running

C’mon. We’re 18 months away from the election and he’s served barely two years in his first elected office. Surely we haven’t yet reached the point where we’re begging newbie pols to jump in and rescue us.

Or have we?

The Iowa Republicans are assembling of team of six or seven to try to woo Christie into running for president; they have a dinner date with him at the New Jersey governor’s mansion on May 31.

Mike DuHaime, an adviser to Christie, told The Des Moines Register this morning that the governor hasn’t scheduled audiences with delegations from any of the other early-decision states.

“This is the first and only one. This is unique,” DuHaime said…

“We’re just going to give him a pitch and say he has a higher calling. He has to run. It’s for his country. It’s a call to duty,” [Des Moines entrepreneur Gary] Kirke said in a separate telephone interview…

Kirke said: “All we can do is say, if he does decide, we’ll have a team to help him win.”

The AP notes that Bruce Rastetter, the leader of the delegation, “represents a core GOP constituency in Iowa, business conservatives who favor nominees more identified with the philosophy of low taxes and limited government than with cultural issues.” In other words, they’re worried about yet another social con darling winning the caucuses and, maybe, springboarding to victory past a weak “centrist” alternative like Romney in South Carolina and eventually the nomination. Which makes me wonder: If they’re so desperate as to seek out Christie, who’s given a variety of Sherman-esque statements about not running next year, do they maybe have an inkling that Huckabee’s leaning towards running after all? There have been some rumbles about that of late, and Iowans would naturally be the first to know if it’s happening. They could be eyeing Christie to try to head him off at the pass. Or maybe these guys are simply tired of the state’s reputation for being a social conservative stronghold and eager to break the narrative with a dynamic candidate who specializes in fiscal issues. That’s super for them, but I don’t know why Christie would chance it. His national career would be over before it began if he jumped in to great fanfare and then flamed out with 15 percent of the vote because “values” aren’t his forte.

Besides, it sounds like he’s a Mitch Daniels fan anyway. Exit quotation: “He’s certainly somebody who I have enormous respect for and would give real consideration to supporting.”