Christie is still far from a shoo-in as a future presidential candidate. In 2012, criticism of his appointment of Sohail Mohammed as a Superior Court Judge and defense of Imam Mohammed Qatanani could have jeopardized his candidacy. Steve Emerson, Daniel Pipes, Robert Spencer, I and others have raised this issue. He has also been criticized for his stances on the Ground Zero Mosque, gun control, illegal immigration and global warming.
Sarah Palin and Rudy Giuliani remain the last two holdouts in making a final decision. Giuliani has sent a senior advisor to New Hampshire, and says he’ll enter the race if the Republican Party is “truly desperate” for a candidate who can defeat Obama. He acknowledges the difficulties he’d face as a candidate, and his entry is unlikely. There are mixed signals coming from the Palin camp. Close associates of Palin’s Political Action Committee are making calls to research the final filing dates in critical states. On the other hand, her top fundraiser in Iowa hasn’t heard from her in weeks. In a TV appearance late last month, she seemed to be setting the stage not to run. She commented on how running for office can inhibit the ability to make a difference.
The candidates officially in the race can relax a bit with Christie’s announcement. The speculation about his decision was taking up all the oxygen as the second-tier candidates tried to get attention. Polls show Herman Cain overshadowing a rising Newt Gingrich and replacing Rick Perry for second place, while Michele Bachmann continues to falter. The next debate is October 11, and it will be an exciting one.
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