The Fast Fix: Could Christie campaign in 2012?

Chris Cillizza

Chris Christie has repeatedly denied he'd run for president in 2012, but that isn't stopping speculation that he will.

Chris Christie has said he's not running for president in 2012 in a lot of different ways.

Our favorite? "Short of suicide, I don't really know what I'd have to do to convince you people that I'm not running," Christie told reporters in New Jersey late last year.

Given the completeness of Christie's past denials, eyebrows were raised earlier this week when he pointedly refused to rule out a run when asked about it after a speech at the Reagan Library in California.

After a woman pled with him to reconsider his decision, Christie said only "I thank you for what you're saying."

That doesn't mean Christie is running for president. But it does mean that he is leaving the door open enough to freeze the field and allow him a bit of time to seriously consider it.

Christie's blunt speaking style and fiscal conservative credentials have made him a You Tube sensation and a hero the tea party Republicans.

But, as Texas Governor Rick Perry's struggles of late have shown, making a late entrance into the presidential race isn't easy.

In the end, the decision comes down to how bad Christie wants to be president. The presidential race is a uniquely grueling contest and Christie has previously expressed doubts about his commitment to such a contest.

If Christie's heart still isn't in it, no amount of begging and pleading will change his mind.

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