Chris Christie keeps an eye on the future

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is a man of vision and there’s no denying it. He has a vision for the future of the Garden State. He has a vision for the future of the Republican Party. And there’s little doubt that he is keeping his options open for a possible presidential run. But when might he be ready? As Taegan Goddard tips us off, it might not be as far away as you might think. And who would he tip off to these plans? Duh… Oprah.

Gov. Chris Christie told Oprah Winfrey in an interview broadcast tonight on OWN that a lot depends on whether he’ll run for president in 2016, but one thing’s for sure: “In terms of me, I’ll be much more ready four years from now,” he said.

Christie, who called politics a “contact sport,” said there’s no doubt he’s attracted to holding positions of power, but has so far foregone the ultimate test for a simple reason.

“There’s nothing more unattractive than getting there and feeling like you’re not ready,” he said, adding that he’s never felt over his head as governor.

Not to put too fine of a point on this, but aren’t you campaigning for Mitt Romney right now? And in order for you to run four years from now, wouldn’t that mean that Mitt would have to … ummm…. lose? The point was not lost on Oprah, who displayed some tact in asking if Christie thinks that Obama is a shoe-in for another four years.

Winfrey, who endorsed President Obama in 2008, asked Christie about the odds the Democrat will win another four years. “He is as good a politician as I’ve ever seen,” he said. “I think where the shortcoming has been is in governing.”

I’ll give Christie full points for both realism and honesty here. (Strong points which have helped build his current, rising star status.) But there’s a time and a place for it. Yes, this election is going to be close, and only a fool would think that Obama is a sure bet to lose. He’s got plenty of money and an experienced team running his campaign. But come on… Christie is supposed to be one of his top tier surrogates.

Is this really the time to even hint that Romney might come up short if you’re spending all of your time out there stumping for him? Christie ups his political capital by going out on the trail in support of the presumed nominee. Even if Romney were to lose he can at least claim that he did as much as he could for the home team. And there’s nothing wrong with a man of Christie’s age saying that he’s keeping his options open for the future. But putting a 2016 date on possible plans comes across as a serious vote of no confidence.

All in all, this looks like a rare misstep by the Jersey Boy. But at least he’s not building a car elevator in the Governor’s Mansion in Drumthwacket. Leave the interview. Take the cannoli.

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David Strom 6:01 AM on June 06, 2023