Give Chris Christie credit.
Instead of listening to the fawning voices outside his head, he listened to the rational voice inside his head.
And he said no to a Republican run for president.
That’s not to say that it won’t happen someday. But that someday won’t be associated with the Republican effort to unseat President Barack Obama in 2012.
“Now is not my time,” the New Jersey governor said at a press conference yesterday.
What’s nice about Christie is that he didn’t believe the hype that surrounded him.
He didn’t believe what so many influential Republicans were telling him about his chances.
He didn’t believe polling as late as today from Quinniapiac University
that showed him in a dead heat with Mitt Romney.
He knew that speculation giveth, but reality taketh away.
In the end, he knew he might have been just another flavor of the month for Republicans, quickly erased from the chalk board after the klieg light scrutiny of a campaign.
We’ve seen two candidates -- Minnesota congresswoman Michelle Bachmann and Texas Gov. Rick Perry -- who were chalked up as the next great candidate to win the hearts and minds of the party faithful.
But after initial buzz their relevance to this campaign is slowly but surely fading.
A big piece of it for Christie would have been his politics -- that are not all in keeping with the conservative Republican base.
Perry is seeing his troubles fueled by a fairly liberal position on the children of illegal immigrants being allowed in-state college tuition in Texas.
Christie might have had similar problems.
Then there is the issue of timing, now that Iowa, South Carolina, New Hampshire and Nevada are moving up their caucus and primary dates in response to Florida setting its primary for Jan. 31, 2012.
A compressed calendar doesn’t give Christie any time for organization and fundraising, a concern that should be noted by three other notable sideliners: former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton.
Christie’s decision strengthens former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s position -- who has seen the flavors of the month come and go and remains a popular choice on the Republican menu.
With the New Hampshire first-in-the-nation primary looming ever so closely -- now more than ever -- it really is Romney’s to lose.
It’s Jon Hutsman’s, Ron Paul’s, and Herman Cain’s to win.