Those still looking through the entrails of dead birds in the hopes that the augury will reveal whether or not New Jersey Governor Chris Christie might throw caution to the wind and enter the 2012 GOP primary race may want to wash their hands and check out this story, from Stu Woo, Neil King, Jr., and Steve Eder of the Wall Street Journal:
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who has kept the political world in suspense for weeks over his presidential intentions, told prominent California fund-raisers and donors as recently as last Wednesday he had no plans to seek the White House.
One assurance took the form of a pledge Mr. Christie made to Meg Whitman, the newly appointed Hewlett-Packard Co. chief executive, said two people familiar with the matter. As a condition of Ms. Whitman's hosting a high-priced fund-raiser for him, Mr. Christie said he wouldn't enter the Republican presidential contest, these people said.
Does Christie have such a strong bond with Whitman that a pledge made between them could keep him out of the race? It's very possible. In one of the most widely trafficked YouTube clips of Chris Christie's public outbursts, Christie rises to the defense of Whitman at a California town hall, where she became locked in argument with West Hollywood politico Ed Buck:
Of course, Christie is usually seen on video shouting at women rather than on their behalf, but what makes Meg Whitman unique, of course, is that she is a staggeringly wealthy mogul, and not some public school teacher who's having her benefits slashed to finance tax breaks for the wealthy. And, as the Journal points out, Whitman has promised to support Mitt Romney in 2012. So if cash rules everything around Chris Christie, chances are he'll do what he needs to be done to keep Whitman happy, and hold his powder.
READ THE WHOLE THING: Fund-Raiser Offers Clues on Governor's Intentions [Wall Street Journal]