Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images.
UPDATE: As promised, Chris Christie announced Tuesday that he will not seek the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.
"Now is not my time," the New Jersey governor said at an afternoon press conference in Trenton.
"New Jersey, whether you like it or not, you're stuck with me," he said, adding he has "unfinished business" as governor.
UPDATE Tuesday, Oct. 4 at 10:46 p.m.: So much for the big reveal.
Christie and his wife, Mary Pat, were reportedly calling top backers Tuesday morning to break the news personally ahead of the afternoon press conference.
UPDATE Tuesday, Oct. 4 at 9:57 a.m.: It looks like today is the day.
Chris Christie has scheduled a 1 p.m. press conference, where the New Jersey governor is expected to declare once and for all whether he is going to challenge for the Republican presidential nomination.
Politico notes: "His team has been, as always, impressively on-message and closed-lipped about what his intentions are—and it's not clear who he's told in his circle about which way he's leaning on 2012."
The Wall Street Journal, however, claims that Christie "told prominent California fund-raisers and donors as recently as last Wednesday he had no plans to seek the White House." His strongest comments came in a pledge to sit out 2012 that he made to new Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman, sources tell the paper, as a condition of Whitman hosting a high-priced fundraiser for him. Whitman is a big backer of GOP White House hopeful Mitt Romney.
Meanwhile, the New York Times reports that in making his decision, the Christie and his team have no doubt been listening closely to growing criticism that has been mounting in conservative circles. "Online, conservatives are already savaging Mr. Christie for what they say are his too-liberal views on a series of critical Republican issues: guns, immigration, climate change," the paper reports.
A potential clue to Christie's decision comes from the press conference's location: Trenton. Presidential contenders typically choose a location that would be key to their nomination victory, and New Jersey isn't exactly New Hampshire or Iowa.
POST Monday, Oct. 3: The speculation over a potential Chris Christie presidential run could be over in a matter of days.
Citing sources close to the New Jersey governor, ABC News reported over the weekend that an official decision will me made "within days." According to the New York Post, final word will come sometime this week, possibly as early as Monday.
Politico, meanwhile, reports that those in the know say it is "likelier than not that he stays out of the 2012 race." That said, sources tell the Beltway publication that the final decision will be made between Christie and his wife, Mary Pat.
The general consensus seems to be that Christie would face an uphill battle if he decides to jump into the race, mostly because he would have little time to throw together a national campaign and raise the tens of millions of dollars that would be needed to compete against the likes of GOP frontrunners Rick Perry and Mitt Romney.
Still, given the current buzz surrounding the tough-talking Republican, no one wants to count him out. Sources close to the campaign tell Politico that the Christie camp sees a potential path to victory that begins with a strong (but not necessarily winning) performance in Iowa, which would give him momentum heading into New Hampshire, where he’d battle Romney.
Christie has no media availability Monday, and his only public event is the swearing in of state judge.