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Chris Christie Isn't Running For President (For The Umpteenth Time!)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie chats with a group of first graders in Cherry Hill, N.J., Sept. 13, 2011.
Mel Evans
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie chats with a group of first graders in Cherry Hill, N.J., Sept. 13, 2011.

Just like zombies, rumors that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie may enter the race for the Republican presidential nomination refuse to die no matter how hard the governor beats them back.

Tom Kean, the former governor of the Garden State and co-chair of the 9/11 Commission, unleashed the latest round by telling the National Review Online that Christie was "very seriously" mulling a presidential run.

Because Kean has been a mentor to Christie, that gave the former governor's statement much more heft than comments from some others who've reanimated the rumors in the past by saying that Christie was leaning towards entering the race.

But Christie's brother, Todd, a rainmaker in Republican political circles, and others close to the governor are saying there's just no truth to the rumors that the New Jersey's chief executive is about to reverse his oft-stated commitment against running or even thinking of doing so.

An excerpt from

"I'm sure that he's not going to run," Todd Christie said. "If he's lying to me, I'll be as stunned as I've ever been in my life."

Three people close to Christie said they were surprised by Kean's comments to National Review, a conservative magazine. They said the two men hadn't spoken in about a week — Christie and Kean gave back-to-back speeches at a Homeland Security conference on Wednesday -— and they insisted that Christie wasn't going to run.

The latest rumors about Christie apparently changing his mind and getting closer to announcing were fueled by his visit Tuesday to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library to give a speech about something other than New Jersey's pension fund. Yes, that's all it takes, apparently, to get this kind of Christie buzz going.

It is perhaps a measure of how dissatisfied some Republicans are with the current field led by Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Mitt Romney that they pine for Christie to enter the race. It's also probably a measure of how much many of us in the media would love to see Christie become a candidate.

It would seem to make little sense for Christie to enter now, however. He said as recently as a few months ago that he wasn't ready to be president. And he's been saying that for well over a year.

To come back such a short while later and say that he's all of a sudden ready would damage the very qualities so many people like about him — that he's authentic, comfortable in his own skin, direct and steady, not erratic.

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Frank James joined NPR News in April 2009 to launch the blog, "The Two-Way," with co-blogger Mark Memmott.
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