Despite the many, many, many times he has said he's not running, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie spent the weekend considering whether he should. He discussed the logistics of a late entrance to the race with his aides as well as his family, sources tell the Wall Street Journal, and he is expected to make an announcement within days. Filing deadlines for New Hampshire, Florida, and South Carolina all loom less than a month away, and Christie would have just three months to launch his campaign, since Florida's primary is now set for Jan. 31 and other primaries could also be pushed to early January—or even late this year.
Because of the tight timeline, sources say Christie's aides have become more daunted in recent days. "The afterglow of Nancy Reagan's flattery" at an event last week "has been replaced with the reality of building a state-by-state organization and the abdication of his day job to do this," says one operative. And unlike Bill Clinton, who launched his campaign at a similarly late date but who had already put out feelers and formed an exploratory committee, Christie has apparently not reached out to Republican leaders in the key early states. Says one prominent New Hampshire GOP strategist, "All that I can deduce is he's not running."