Intrigue: Chris Christie Forming PAC?

Posted: Feb 22, 2011 9:19 AM
His camp still insists he's not running for president, but hmmm:

One of Chris Christie's top political advisers revealed that he is considering formation of a federal political action committee because of the extraordinary interest in the New Jersey governor.

Bill Palatucci, often described as Christie's "political godfather," said that not forming such a fundraising committee would be "leaving money on the table."

Palatucci, Christie's former law partner, made the remarks even as he tried throwing cold water on the notion that the governor — who's gotten acclaim from national Republicans — is taking steps designed toward a presidential run.

"If reporters would look for a second below the surface, they'd see I've never been to Iowa," Palatucci said, adding that another adviser, Mike DuHaime, "has not been to New Hampshire. There have been no lawyers hired to advise or investigate a presidential run."

The newspaper reported that Palatucci was referring to a presidential exploratory committee, but in a statement to POLITICO shortly after publication of this article, Palatucci clarified that he was merely referring to a federal PAC — so-called leadership PACs that politicians use to raise money and contribute to other candidates.

I continue to believe Christie when he says he will not run for president next year, but this development certainly is interesting.  Still, Christie has allowed himself absolutely zero wiggle room on the question, issuing the most emphatic denials in modern political history:

"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.

UPDATE: The New York Times hopes reports that Christie may still fail to enact his legislative agenda, which could doom any loftier ambitions in the future.  The Washington Times, meanwhile, offers an interesting piece highlighting misgivings about Christie among some conservatives, despite his rock star status on budgetary issues.