Washington (CNN) - No matter many times he denies having his sights on the White House in 2012, presidential buzz seems to follow New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie wherever he goes.
His latest foray onto the national stage comes Wednesday, when Christie will deliver a high-profile speech at the conservative American Enterprise Institute titled "It's Time to Do the Big Things" - a plea to other political leaders to confront the country's fiscal problems head-on, much like has done in the Garden State.
The Christie appearance has stirred up so much interest that AEI cannot accommodate all the reporters who want to cover the speech in person.
His popularity among Republicans – and the media - speaks to the wide-open state of the early presidential field, which so far lacks a candidate with the kind of star power and broad appeal that some Republicans say will be necessary to go head-to-head with President Obama next year.
The rotund governor has also developed an enthusiastic national following thanks to his brash and confrontational brand of politics, on display in various YouTube videos uploaded by his staff that depict Christie clashing with unionized teachers at town-hall meetings across New Jersey.
As Christie toured the country last October with Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty in an effort to elect other GOP governors, Christie was met with a rock-star welcome at nearly every event.
At one such stop in Ohio, Christie lingered for nearly 30 minutes after the event to meet swarms of autograph seekers, while Barbour and Pawlenty - two Republicans actually mounting presidential bids - slipped out the back.
Christie skipped last weekend's Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, but still managed to finish in a surprising tie for third in the conference's presidential straw poll along with former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, who spent three days at the event getting his libertarian-leaning supporters to the ballot box.
The unexpected result was revealed just moments after conservative pundit Ann Coulter implored the CPAC crowd to draft Christie into the presidential race.
"If we don't run Chris Christie, Mitt Romney will be the nominee and we will lose," Coulter declared.
While the governor has rejected invitations to speak in key presidential nominating states like Iowa and recently turned down an offer to deliver the Republican response to the State of the Union, Christie and his team have had a hand in stirring up the national buzz.
He recently sat for glowing interviews with "60 Minutes" and "The Today Show, for instance, and his advisers made clear to reporters that a January dinner with Romney at the New Jersey's governor's mansion came at the request of the former Massachusetts governor.
On Wednesday, the Republican Governors Association announced that Christie will serve as the political organization's Policy Vice Chairman. Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the RGA Chairman, said Christie "has been a powerful example of the tremendous impact governors can make in their states and nationwide."
And now the governor is stepping into the spotlight once again in Washington, in full view of a press corps hungry for any sign of life in the slow-moving presidential race. Not that the White House is on his mind, of course.
"I am not surprised that he is continuing to share his message of fiscal sanity and shared sacrifice," said New Jersey Republican National Committeeman Bill Palatucci, one of Christie's closest friends and supporters. "His success in New Jersey with this agenda has made him highly sought after around the country."
If my states only claim to fame was Snooki, I would pay a little more attention to my job.
Christie, Scott and Walker have taken the republican approach to pay for their republican debt at the expense of teachers and other public workers. At least Wisconsin can recall their incompetent governor, while Florida cannot.
Conservatives had 8 years to do something. At least I haven't forgotten that.
I hope this guy runs for president!
forget about this dude...o.k...
Chris Christie is exactly what this country needs. He's a straight shooter and tells it like it is and doesn't care who he ticks off. My kinda guy.
Christie's gutting of NJ is going to leave the state a shell of its former self. The exodus will really kick in when people realize they now get nothing for their incredible tax burden. The guy has really not accomplished anything yet, and the jury is still out. Let's slow down...
Big things like his ego?
For the love of God, please run christie!!!! You are the only one who could save us now
Gov. Christie should run for President. He is the only Republican that can beat 0bama!
I'm not impressed. Christie is just another right-winger who attacks hard-working Americans like teachers, police officers, and many other workers who belong to unions. He promotes the idea that we should all hate workers who belong to unions because they have been able to maintain pensions and better healthcare while private business has cut these things dramatically. Well, unions certainly are not to blame for that. At my husband's company the top ten executives rake in $8 million dollars in benefits while the rest of the employees (thousands) have to split $2 million. The majority of private companies COULD afford to offer pensions and better healthcare, but they choose to heap ridiculous amounts of money on a few executives instead. That is not the fault of unions, but rather the fault of greed and skewed priorities at our corporations. Christie sure does not speak to this, but rather attacks hard-working people who make a very average wage and will be relying on their pensions when they retire.
The Gov. of New Jersey needs to go back to Jersey and try to do some work there where he is being paid to work.
Christie in 2012! It's refreshing to see a northeastern political figure who has true conservative values.
Big things? Like tackling the nation's health care crisis? Oh! Wait! [and wait and wait and wait and...]
Christie's got nuthin' but a big mouth and an infrastructure problem he refused to fix.
So what has Gov. Christie done? All we hear about is how he is balancing NJ budget. Gov. Rick Scott in Florida layed out his plans for his budget and all he wants to do is cut everything. Is this what Christie is doing? A lot of people want cuts, but wanting those spending cuts are for everyone else, not them.
This guy has distrust written all over him. I would hate to "Piss Him Off" Run for your life!!!!!!
Christie would make a great president. At least he would not bend to the loser Democrats and their union thugs! Go Christie!
Of course he says he wont run....right now.
Thats the smartest move ive seen any of these guys make.
Never take a job and then let everyone know on your 1st day to work that your
gunning for the CEO spot by next week.
But the gig is up, and eveyone knows its just a matter of timing now.
Just be patient and let the marxist media spin away, focusing on Palin, our "community organizer"
and the rest of the field of re-runs.
Christie-Rubio will destroy the little boy king.
See. I've said this before. The GOP has nary a good candidate whom can beat our intelligent Pres Obama.
"Mr Boehner, Where are the jobs. "
"mr Boehner, start doing your job and man up."
Ann Coulter could not be more correct. If Romney is the candidate the Repulicans will lose. Romney is a retread like Dole and McCain. It is time for some real change for the middle class in this country who continues to foot the bills. Obama is a socialist who leads a democratic party hell bent on spending current andfutures generations int bankruptcy. . The divide between the haves and have nots grows with every new spending (now called investment) program instituted by the Dems. It is time to hit the brakes.
Christie is a bully. He cuts money to education, transportation, and pension funds. He takes credit for things he hasn't done. He pokes his finger in your face if you dare to stand up to him. Everything is his way or the highway. This is not a man to hold national public office. He would be an embarrassment to this country. Although I must admit that getting him out of New Jersey would be a very good thing.
Governor Christie is sought after because he delivers reality. There are no flies on this man! We can't say that about many politicians, can we?
Which GOPer is not running? Just throw him on the pile... actually put him on the bottom to avoid crushing any of 100 GOP candidates. They're all going to lose anyways.
Christie is a RINO. Search is political career from time elected.
Big thing? This Big man is a heart attack waiting to happen. If he can't use self control with his own body and put his own health at risk then, I really doubt that he has the emotional capacity to lead anything. He is riding high at the moment because the GOP has absolutely no one and they are desperately trying to find a hero. Better keep looking.