In the media feeding frenzy over Gov. Chris Christie’s helicopter ride to see his son play baseball, it was easy to gloss over the reason he was in such a hurry that day.
After the game, Christie was being wooed by a delegation from Iowa, the latest suitors to hope to convince him to become the Republican presidential nominee.
Christie has said that he has no intention of running for that office in 2012. He says he’s not ready and that he has plenty of work to do in New Jersey.
But he doesn’t seem to mind the attention. And he seems willing to listen to people tell him, over and over, what a great candidate he’d make.
I can’t say I blame him.
I’m pretty sure that having people beg you to run for president is a whole lot more fun than actually running for president. It also has to be more fun than being president.
But if Christie does have serious presidential ambitions, he may be wrong to think that opportunity will come knocking again in four years.
A recent piece in New York magazine gives one reason why Christie may seem less attractive to Republicans when he has spent some more time actually governing New Jersey.
The story, which you can read here, mentions that the more Christie governs, the more constituencies he's likely to offend.
I'd add that any compromises he makes with Democrats to get things done might not sit well with the ultraconservatives and tea partiers who are so influential in the GOP nominating process.
And I think there’s a simpler reason why Christie may not have the brass ring within reach again if he takes a pass this time around.
The reason our tough-talking governor looks presidential to many Republicans is that the other candidates in this field do not.
But a lot can happen in four years. Other contenders will surely emerge.
Someone with solid conservative credentials who speaks intelligently but not abrasively could have Republican voters adding “who?” not just to the names Sarah and Donald, but also to the name Chris.