The most consequential vote of the political season may well have been one that occurred last October, around a dinner table in Mendham, N.J. Chris Christie had just returned home from a cross-country trip, highlighted by a speech at the Reagan Library in California, that seemed like a road test for a presidential run. When the family gathered for supper that Monday evening, Christie’s oldest son, Andrew, then 17, cut to the chase. “So, Dad,” he asked, “what’re you gonna do?”

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