That good judgement is underlined if the Politico story is true that Governor Chris Christie was Romney's first choice.
Now, campaign insiders tell POLITICO that Christie was Mitt Romney’s first choice for the Republican ticket, lending an intriguing new context to the continuing drama around the Garden State governor.Christie's pluses are ability to connect with the Republican base and working class men and straight talk.
The strong internal push for Christie, and Romney’s initial instinct to pick him as his running mate, reflects how conflicted the nominee remained about choosing a running mate until the very end of the process. At least on the surface, Christie and Paul Ryan are about as opposite as two Republicans could be: a brash outsider from the Northeast versus a bookish insider from the heartland.
And yet Romney switched from Christie to Ryan in a span of about two weeks, according to a detailed inside account provided to POLITICO.
Romney was so close to picking Christie that some top advisers at the campaign’s Boston headquarters believed the governor had been offered the job. The campaign made tentative plans to announce a pick in late July, just before Romney headed off on his overseas trip, starting with a stop at the London Olympics.
Romney liked Christie’s fearless advice — unvarnished talk that he wasn’t used to hearing from his cocoon of Boston advisers, many of whom had been with him since he was Massachusetts governor.His weaknesses are lack of dependability, self-centeredness, and impulsive nature.
Some aides around Romney began to sour on Christie when he was late to a couple of events where they were appearing together. “Chris is a sort of cavalier New York, New Jersey guy: ‘If I’m a few minutes behind, I’ll blame it on traffic,’” said a person who knows him well. “That’s just who he is.”
The tardiness rankled the by-the-book folks around Romney. As the vice-presidential selection ramped up, Christie was always at the top of the list, but always with an asterisk.
Some Romney loyalists thought he was too much about himself.
“He wouldn’t make a good Number Two,” one adviser said. That is a point that Christie often made himself, when brushing off talk that he would be chosen.
Advisers also fretted about the raw emotion that makes Christie so popular on TV and on the trail, fearing it might be a liability in the West Wing. In blunt language that Christie can appreciate, another official said: “The explosiveness had some risk.”