Source: Rumor of donors heading to Trenton for Christie announcement untrue

A Republican strategist familiar with the thinking behind a possible Chris Christie presidential run shot down rumors circulating today that wealthy donors have been asked to converge on Trenton Thursday for an announcement by the governor.

The rumor has no validity, the source said, and what’s more, it would make little strategic sense to announce a candidacy surrounded by wealthy donors.

The source said other stories circulating that Christie’s political staff has been hard at work on the logistics of a short notice campaign and are daunted by the task are overblown.

Many in the Christie political camp are veterans of the 2008 Rudy Giuliani bid for president, so launching a campaign, while a heavy lift, is not impossible.

With South Carolina setting its primary date for Jan. 21, the timetable for a potential run just got shorter.  The South Carolina announcement coupled with Florida’s Friday decision to hold its primary on Jan. 31 means Christie and the rest of the Republican field will be looking at early January for the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary.

A source said while no exact timetable for a Christie decision has been set, the clock is ticking and the governor will need a firm yes or no within about a week to have a realistic shot at competing in the early races.

"He’s obviously working very, very hard at it. I mean he’s traveling all over the country as chairman of the [Republican Governors Association] and I think at this point he has as good a chance or better than anybody else. His name is household word all across the country, and I think he would make a great president."
—former U.S. Rep. Jim Saxton (R-3), on Gov. Chris Christie