Maybe the reason I like economics and statistics (polling, modeling—my almost hysterical love of Monte Carlo simulations) is that I am, at base, an extremely naive person. This was well on display this morning when Mike Allen and Jim Vandehei at Politico reported that Chris Christie really did want to be Mitt Romney’s running mate. The title of the article didn’t surprise me: Christie was Mitt’s first choice for VP. I figured that Christie was desirable for the ticket. But I believed Chris Christie when he said that he did not want to be the VP candidate.
But it is probably mostly the case that I just wasn’t paying attention. It seemed that Christie said a number of times that he didn’t want the spot, but most of the press coverage at the time shows him saying things like, “It isn’t my job to choose.” Still, there was a lot of reporting that indicated that Christie did turn down an offer from the Romney campaign. Now that appears to be all wrong.
It does make you wonder how things would have played out if Christie had been picked as Romney’s running mate. In the most obvious way, it would have made Romney’s campaign look less impotent during this hurricane crisis. But even more than that, I think a Christie pick would have been important for what it did not do: tie Romney to the Ryan budget. I know that the Obama campaign would have made the same arguments against Romney. But it wouldn’t have been nearly so easy.
Despite my naivete, I think this news about Christie shows one thing: he does have his sights on the presidency. Otherwise, there would have been little reason for him to want the VP slot. He could be a very successful candidate. And that’s a bad thing, because he’s a vile man with repugnant economic policies.