But professional political types in New Jersey see Christie’s aggressive displays of disinterest for what they are: meaningless, if necessary, theater. His allies and enemies alike agree that he has played his Angry Governor role to great political effect so far, a notion supported by his standing in the public polls. They also agree, Republicans as readily as Democrats, that the current crop of prospective G.O.P. presidential talent outside their state is extraordinarily weak…

What Christie is not saying—what he could never say, without wrecking his skillfully wrought image as a straight-talker whose only interest is in fixing his deeply distressed home state—is that he is working like hell to become the favorite, obvious, choice for vice president in 2012. Between the narrative he has constructed at home as the fearless enemy of budget-wrecking special interests, and the chits he has been busy racking up by raising money for Republican candidates from one end of the country to the other, he is putting himself in Position A to be recruited as a running mate…

And, in fact, there’s a strong argument to be made that Christie’s personality— stinging and combative, with a got-a-problem-with-that-asshole Jersey swagger, is much better suited to vice president than president in the first place.