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Chris Christie Tea Leaves: No to 2012 but Losing Weight, Mulling National Fundraising

4 years ago
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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he's not going to get into the 2012 presidential race. He says it a lot, including very emphatically last week at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington.

But for those looking for clues that he might not really mean it, here are two new ones: He's losing weight and might set up a national fundraising committee.

Christie told the Associated Press that he's been trying to eat better and he has been working out three times a week with a trainer. "Slowly but surely I'm taking the weight off," he said. He said his four children, ages 7 to 17, are the reasons for the health regimen. "I need to be around for them," he said.

The Courier-Post in New Jersey, meanwhile, quoted a close Christie adviser as saying Christie might form a national fundraising committee. "There's so much interest out there, it's leaving money on the table by not having one," said the adviser, Bill Palatucci.

The paper initially reported that it would be a presidential exploratory committee, but later corrected that. Still, a national fundraising committee or leadership PAC is the norm for anyone with national ambitions. The money would allow Christie to travel and help other candidates, raising his own profile while developing national networks of donors and supporters.

Losing weight is also time-honored prelude to a political campaign, a ritual immortalized in Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour's classic remark that if we saw him losing 40 pounds, "you'll know I'm either running or got cancer." Barbour is halfway there and a likely 2012 contender himself.

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