Washington (CNN) - One source with knowledge of the "due diligence" New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is doing as part of his decision-making process is a very basic question: Is he ready to run and become president?
This source says that Team Christie is dealing with the question in a methodical way. One obvious area of discussion: Does the governor have time, given the campaign calendar, to make this leap into areas such as national security with which he has little or no familiarity. "Christie is a very smart guy who can learn," this source says, "but there's not a lot of time."
The logistics of a run at this late date make a run "possible, but harder," this source adds.
Another GOP strategist familiar with some of the discussions says that Christie's logistical problem is getting quick traction in the some of the four early states-Iowa, NH, SC, Nevada-which are heavily dependent on organization - something Christie does not have. While there's a month between the first early primaries and later contests-which would give a late candidate time to recoup-the early contests will be key. Rudy Giuliani waited for Florida, so that model has already been tested-and deemed a failure.
As for Christie himself, another GOP strategist familiar with his thinking says he was "very moved" by the appeals he heard last week at the Reagan Library (including from Nancy Reagan herself), as well as one made by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger at a meeting Christie had recently with top GOP donors. According to this source, who was briefed on the meeting, Kissinger made the point that he has worked with seven presidents-and what matters is character and judgment. Christie has both, Kissinger told the group.
There are some Republicans-outside the Christie circle-who are making the case that the governor has nothing to lose by running. He could still run for re-election in 2013 (if he lost the nomination) , and it could polish his persona. They say his re-elect as governor is not a given, because New Jersey is such a traditionally Democratic state. And he runs as the anti-Obama-fearless, passionate and as a "man of the people," as one of the consultants put it.
Even so one top unaffiliated GOP strategist says Christie is holding this "very, very close." His guess? "He was more likely to run two weeks ago than he is today."
When will we know? There is pressure to make a decision by week's end. "He doesn't want to go into Palin territory," says one GOP source. "He's got to make this decision fast."