By Bob McHugh
September 28, 2011

Dear President, I mean, Governor Christie;

Don’t do it. There’s a more-than-good chance you could be the next president of the United States – yes, the leader of the free world – if only you’d run. Think about it: The most famous, most powerful person on earth. Don’t do it.

Just a little over two years ago, you told us New Jersey voters that you wanted to be our governor and we agreed, taking the relatively rare step of tossing out the incumbent. It’s a four-year gig and, while you didn’t sign a contract (we know you’re a lawyer) we kind of assumed you signed on for the whole ride.

You wouldn’t be the first New Jersey politician to pull a bait and switch. Corzine did it, when he got bored in the Senate and ran for governor. It probably cost him a spot in Obama’s cabinet; it certainly cost him about $100 million.

Christie Whitman did it, too. She ran for a second term as governor, won and left a year early to become Environmental Protection Agency administrator in the Bush II cabinet. She’s still climbing out from beneath the bus they threw her under after 9/11.

Guv, you’ve done a good job so far. Even better, you’ve done what you said you would. You stood up to the Democrats in the legislature and won. You stood up to the once-mighty state workers unions and cleaned their clocks. You even just stood up to Snooki and the Situation.

But being BMIT (Big Man in Trenton) may not come as easily as standing up to Putin or the Chinese. The European economy is about to fall off the Rock of Gibraltar. And our deficit is not going away any time soon. (Notice how Obama sprouts a new grey hair about every 15 minutes? The president is only 50. You’re 48.)

When Hurricane Irene reared her ugly head few weeks ago, the media gushed when you ordered Shore residents to, “get the hell off the beach.” Trying saying that to a million barrels of light, sweet crude headed for the coast of Florida, or telling Gadhafi to get the hell out of Libya.

If you decide to run, several hundred reporters and TV crews will hop on I-95 and head for your house! They’ll trample your shrubs and do their best to do the same to your reputation. Governor, after your long career in public life, it’s hard to imagine any skeletons in your closet. But that doesn’t matter. Some blogger can make one up.

I’m sure well meaning advisors are telling you it’s now or never. They may be right. If Obama is re-elected, it’s a four-year wait. If not, it could be eight years. A lot can happen. But a lot can a happen if you do run. For one thing, you could lose.

I’ve read often where you’re Springsteen fanatic and that your favorite tune is “Thunder Road.” It’s been a good ride so far, Gov. Christie. I’d hate to see you end with your graduation gown in rags at your feet.

Bob McHugh was a spokesman for former N.J. Govs. Kean and Whitman.