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Tipsheet

The Saga Continues: Christie Advisor Reaches Out to Iowa Businessman

Be still, my fluttering heart--more news regarding Chris Christie's potential candidacy. His repeated "no ways" and joke-threat of suicide have only led to more speculation that the brash New Jersey executive may join the field in 2012. And now, the Washington Post brings news that Christie's people might be up to something in Iowa:

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One Iowa businessman, who sought unsuccessfully to draft Christie into the race earlier this year, said he was preparing this week to endorse another candidate, but Christie’s political advisers asked him not to.

“Something’s up now,” said the Iowan, who requested anonymity to discuss private matters. “I was ready to jump, but was told to hold off until next Wednesday.”

While Christie repeatedly had asserted that he had no interest in running for president, sources familiar with his thinking said Friday that he was moved to reconsider by the extraordinary number of pleas this week from prominent GOP donors, leaders and activists for him to make a late entry.

Given the begging, swooning, and heart-thumping his speech of last Tuesday prompted, and the widespread lack of enthusiasm for the current field, Christie and his team have, apparently, this time, for real, decided to reconsider his abstention from the race.

Indeed, the New York Times added fuel to the flame this afternoon with reports that Christie has a team investigating the logistics of launching a campaign this late in the game--although there's no official planning in the works just yet. Says the NYT:

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“They’re getting their arms around what’s going to be required,” said a political operative who has been briefed on the deliberations among Mr. Christie’s team. “What does an operation look like? What are the requirements in each of the states? What are the things that need to be done before we talk about people and résumés and office space?”

A hastily put together campaign would upend what two of Mr. Christie’s advisers said was his original plan: to consider running for president in 2016. But with President Obama looking more vulnerable, and with dissatisfaction among some voters and influential party leaders with the current Republican field, Mr. Christie is said by those close to him to feel that his best opportunity to run might be now.

“They have to run a billion-dollar operation, which they weren’t prepared to do,” said a second political operative who was briefed on the deliberations among Mr. Christie’s team. “For the first time, they are actually considering it seriously.”

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With many influential members of the GOP urging him to run--including Rupert Murdoch, Henry Kissinger, Nancy Reagan, Ann Coulter, and Bill Kristol--and a rock-star-like following that's built in recent weeks, Christie would have some solid support should he decide to run. Which he has yet to confirm, and is quick to deny.

However... Methinks the Governor doth protest too much.

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