Some of Iowa's top Republican campaign contributors, unhappy with their choices in the developing presidential field, are venturing to New Jersey in hopes they can persuade first-term Gov. Chris Christie to run. The entreaty is the latest sign of dissatisfaction within the GOP over the crop of candidates competing for the chance to run against President Barack Obama in 2012. Bruce Rastetter,an Iowa energy company executive, and a half-dozen other prominent Iowa GOP donors sought the meeting with Christie, the governor's chief political adviser, Mike DuHaime, told The Associated Press.
Top party money men haven't limited their recruitment efforts to just Christie; it seems they've been looking for someone -- anyone -- to expand the perceived lackluster 2012 field:
It's not the first instance this year of Iowa Republicans seeking to widen the 2012 field. A former state party chairman, Steve Grubbs,approached Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels' top aide in Indianapolis last month. Daniels expects to say in a few weeks whether he will enter the race.
Nationally, Republican donors have encouraged ex-Fla. Gov. Jeb Bush, brother of former President George W.Bush, to reconsider his decision not to run. There's also talk of Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, as a possible entrant.
Under other circumstances, I might suggest that Mike DuHaime flaunting his boss' courtship to the Associated Press could be a sign that Team Christie is trying to build buzz and put out feelers. But as I've outlined previously, Gov. Christie has slammed the door on a 2012 run so definitively that I can't bring myself to believe that he's remotely open to changing his mind:
"Short of suicide, I don't really know what I'd have to do to convince you people that I'm not running. I'm not running!" Christie told reporters in Trenton, the state capital.
Out of curiosity -- if, hypothetically, Christie reversed himself next week and stunned the political world by entering the race, would he be considered the frontrunner? How many people here would immediately jump aboard the Christie Express?