In the rearview mirror

December 6, 2011 1:31:53 PM PST
Gotta wonder how Chris Christie is feeling these days. The man who was sooooooo lobbied by moderate Republicans to run for the GOP Presidential nomination decided to take a pass on running for the White House.

Now, as Newt Gingrich surges in the polls (Gallop shows him with 37 percent to Mitt Romney's 22 percent among Repubs nationwide) and becomes the latest frontrunner in the Republican field, it's a fascinating question to ask how the New Jersey Governor views his decision to not jump into the race.

If, as many pols believe, the former House Speaker is a lightning rod for controversy and has political baggage that could come back to haunt him in a general election against Pres. Obama, then the more centrist Christie has to be wondering - what if? What if he had gotten into the race? Without the baggage of Gingrich or the flip-flopping allegations that have been leveled against Mitt Romney, would Gov. Christie have been a more palatable candidate?

Gingrich, who helped bring the federal government to a standstill and who led the charge to impeach Pres. Bill Clinton even though the votes to remove him from office likely weren't there, is a controversial figure. He was the first and only Speaker to be reprimanded by the House after he gave false info to the Ethics Committee about using tax-deductible funds for political purposes. He was ordered to pay $300,000 to cover the cost of the investigation.

In the political viper den that is the nation's capital, there is word that Nancy Pelosi - herself a former House Speaker and on the panel that looked into Gingrich's dealings - might release potentially damaging information about Gingrich, which she says was all open to the public.

The new numbers that got me thinking about Gov. Christie's come from The Washington Post and the Pew Research Center, which show that as Americans learn more about the Republican candidates, their overall impression - by a 2-to-1 martin - is getting worse ? 31 to 14 percent. Gingrich is also trending in terms of Internet searches for his name as people apparently try to find out more about him and his politics. Interestingly, the numbers go the opposite direction when filtered just for Republicans: 30 percent feel better, and 8 percent feel worse.

These are not overwhelmingly supportive numbers - and oh to be a fly on the wall in Gov. Christie's breakfast room as he ruminates the woulda-coulda-shoulda.

And what he must think of the man in the wings - Donald Trump - offering to moderate a candidates' debate while perhaps secretly hoping to jump into the race himself. Christie's style is to confront shenigans - and we wonder if he would have confronted these. By the way, Mitt Romney today backed out of participating in any debate moderated by Mr. Trump.

We would like to hear what you think about all this. CLICK HERE to weigh in.

And we'll have the latest on the race for the White House, tonight at 11. Pres. Obama was in Kansas today - campaigning and talking about jobs and the economy - and, oh by the way, missed an appearance at the White House by Lady Gaga, who is pushing her anti-bullying campaign.

Speaking of jobs, we'll take a closer look tonight at 11 at a bit of myth busting when it comes to when is the best time to look for jobs.

Also at 11, we'll have the latest on the ongoing search for remains on Long Island's Gilgo Beach. Search crews were out in force again today - and will be tonight - looking especially for any sign of Shannon Gilbert, the woman who has been missing for the past 15 months. It was Ms. Gilbert's disappearance that led to the discovery of remains belonging to 10 bodies - many of them prostitutes. But no sign of Gilbert.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Jeff Smith (in for Lee Goldberg) and Rob Powers with the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11.


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