Mike Allen reports on Chris Christie's meeting yesterday in Manhattan with top Republican donors who begged the New Jersey governor to run for president:
Attendees said the governor was firm that it’s not in the cards this time, but left his spurned suitors with the impression he might well go in 2016. He impressed the audience with his emphasis on family and commitment, and flashes of disarming humor, according to attendees.
Here is a paraphrase of what Christie said at the Tuesday meeting, according to attendees – the gist of what he said, not his precise words:
I’m not running, but I came because Langone is so aggressive, he basically just physically shook me into doing it. I’ve weighed this carefully; I didn’t dismiss it out of hand. There were four considerations:
1) One question was: Where’s my wife? She’s not enthused.
2) The second is: I looked ahead at the potential for two years of running, and not seeing my kids. If I won, six years of not seeing them. If I won a second term, 10 years of not seeing them. Missing my kids growing up is a big deal to me, and it was a big reason. The wife was the biggest. The children were the second.
3) I’m staying in New Jersey. I am not just going to quit halfway through my term. The people trusted me, and I feel like I owe that trust and faith some fidelity.
4) And fourth: Could I win? Could I really do it? I think I would win – not saying I would win, but I could win.
I brought my oldest son today because, first of all, I wanted him to wake up early. And, second of all, to have to put on his one suit and tie. But I wanted him to listen because if I did run, which I’m not going to – but if I did in the future – it’s going to affect him. There’s six people in the family – I’m just one.
It's hard to begrudge a man for putting his family first, but Christie's words remind us how thankful we should be that some men, like Abraham Lincoln, put their country first.